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Eritrea: Hazardous to Eritreans

Yes, it is almost entirely the Eritrean regime’s fault.

If you have no family in Eritrea, no connection to Eritrea, and all you had to rely for information about Eritrea was Google News–which aggregates Eritrean state media’s always happy news next to the almost always negative news about the country from independent media–you would have a very confusing image of Eritrea.   It is the tragic death of Eritrean youth in forlorn places like the Sicilian coast that punctures reality and provides a jolt.  This reality of Eritrean corpses, the televising of our young who die in horrific ways is often presented with a warning: “this image may be too graphic.” Similarly, a warning should be applied on the whole country: “Eritrea is hazardous to Eritreans.”

This week, as Eritrea’s Foreign Minister was telling the UN General Assembly that the UN must mend its ways–to become more just, more lawful–and that it must do so by restructuring itself from a uni-polar or bi-polar to a multi-polar world, many from the thousands of Eritreans who were escaping the unjust, the unlawful and the singular power of Eritrea’s tyrant were days away from taking their last breath in Lampedusa.


This week, as Eritrea’s state media was issuing its lament on the uni-polar and bi-polar state of the world, a dozen of Eritreans escaping Eritrea’s one-man rule were shipwrecked off the coast of Sicily (Ragusa) died far from home, in the company of kinder strangers.


If Eritrea is such a hopeful country where the government is making tangible progress to improve the lives of Eritreans, as its State media relentlessly says, why is it that those who would benefit the most from it, the youth, are leaving it by the thousands?

The facts speak for themselves.  Eritrea’s youth, sentenced to an indentured servitude of compulsory and indefinite military service, are leaving Eritrea anyway they can.  And, as they leave the warmth of their homes which have been changed into prison by the Eritrean regime, they are dying in Lampedusa, Calais, Almeria, Tijuana, Cartagena, El Latal, San Andres. the Moroccan Coast, the Mediterranean Sea and Sinai where, if they are not killed, they are beaten, raped, tortured and harvested for organs.

Comprehensive Failure

Those who are more interested in protecting the image of the Eritrean regime than they are of protecting their own compatriots have blamed everybody for the biblical-proportion tragedies that are raining on Eritrea’s youth.  They have blamed the US and the UN for not enforcing the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) ruling, thus, goes the argument, leaving Eritrea no choice but to maintain a large army in compulsory service.  They have blamed the UN for sanctions it imposed on Eritrea in 2009.  They have blamed the West for the “easy” asylum processes that act as a magnet to destitute youth.  They have blamed the victims themselves for being materialistic and short-sighted.  They have blamed their families for funding their escape.  They have denied that the dead Eritreans are Eritreans. They have blamed everybody else except the Eritrean regime and its disastrous policies that have communicated one message to the youth: we are the predators and you are the prey.

Let’s consider each of the explanations given to exonerate the regime.

Even if the Eritrean regime truly believes that Ethiopia can attack Eritrea any time, is the military strategy it is using–soldiers enlisted against their will serving corrupt officers they despise–going to protect Eritrea from an Ethiopian assault? If the Eritrean youth are willing to endure unimaginable hardship to escape from Eritrea, what makes the regime think they would be willing to die for a cause they do not believe in–that of propping up a corrupt government structure?  How did that work out for the Ethiopian Derg?

The sanctions that were imposed by the UN in 2009  (Resolution 1907) were not the outcome of a “unipolar” or “bipolar” world. Of the 15 security council votes, there was one negative vote (Libya’s Qaddaffi) and one abstention (China.)  Even Russia voted for the sanctions which were imposed after the Eritrean regime rejected repeated pleas to stop its destructive role in Somalia and to acknowledge its dispute with Djibouti.  These sanctions were re-enforced again in 2011 (Resolution 2023) again with 13 affirmative votes, without a “no” vote and with two abstentions (China and Russia.)  Please note that the Eritrean regime could not get a “no” vote from Russia and China much less exercising their veto power because its destructive behavior was inexcusable even by their standards.  So the Eritrean regime has nobody buts its destructive policies to blame for the sanctions and their consequences.  In any event, since the sanctions were targeted– “arms embargo, as well as a travel ban and assets freeze on Eritrea’s political and military leaders”–how does that affect the Eritrean youth? Are they leaving because they don’t have new weaponry and are disheartened that Eritrea’s political and military leaders are prohibited from traveling and their assets are frozen?

And how “easy” is the asylum process in the West? Ask the millions of world citizens who are on cue waiting for their applications to be processed.  The reason the asylum requests by Eritreans would get preferential treatment in some Western countries is because, for 12 long years, the Eritrean regime has lived up to every single justifiable cause for granting asylum: it has declared war on its own citizens and it is a predatory State. Eritrea, claim the asylum seekers, poses an imminent danger to Eritreans.  And they are right, and the asylum-granters are rightly persuaded.

Lastly, the argument that the Eritrean youth are dying because they are too materialistic and want to get ipods and X-boxes is belied by the facts. (We will not, for now, focus on how tasteless and offensive it is to speak of the victims that disrespectfully, but those who support the Eritrean regime somehow slowly ease themselves into a life of losing their humanity.) First of all, it is not just the poor Eritreans who are leaving the country.  It is even Eritreans who, by Eritrean standards, would be considered “rich”–and could afford Western gadgets– who are deserting the land of their ancestors.  It includes Eritreans who have never heard of ipods and X-boxes.  Secondly, is there something special about Eritreans that their affinity to video games and hamburgers far exceeds that of the rest of the Third World?  If the argument is that the cause is economical, that the West is too strong a magnet for poor people, why does it pull Eritreans disproportionately?  As we have written before,  “Senegal and Guinea are closer to South America, than Eritrea is. Mali is closer to Spain and Malta than Eritrea is. Many African countries are, financially speaking, only marginally better off than Eritrea. In fact, many of the countries that Eritreans travel to on their way to their destination points are just as poor and their people are just as incentivized as Eritreans are to make more money—if money was the only issue. Still, Eritreans—on a per capita basis—leave their countries at rates far in excess that of most nations.”

There is also the argument that while these deaths are tragic, the Eritrean regime is not indifferent.  So why is it that when Italy is declaring the death of immigrants including Eritreans off its coast as a national day of mourning, the Eritrean regime can’t even be bothered to mention them? Why is a regime that has an opinion on every subject under the sun–Iran’s right to nuclear weapons; Somalias need to unify into one state; how the UN calculates daily caloric intake requirements; the problem with Africa; the problem with the Arab world; the problem with the world–tongue tied when it comes to tragedies that befall its own citizens?  If it is not indifferent, why do its ambassadors and consulates not make any effort to reach out to Eritrean tragedy survivors?   It is because the regime has, with the head of state setting the tone that Eritreans are dispensable– they are “going on a picnic”, he said; “let them disperse, globalization is the great equalizer, I can always import professionals, he said– convinced Eritreans that it thinks they are dispensable.

Consider the countries of origin of those who accompany Eritreans.  They are Somalis and Syrians and Ethiopians and Egyptians.  Somalis and Syrians fit one profile: refugees leaving war-torn countries.  Ethiopians and Egyptians fit another profile: overpopulated countries whose economic growth can barely keep up with their population growth.  Then there is Eritrea: a small country of five million (so it is extrapolated: census is a state secret.)  And until we have a government that obsesses over the well-being of every single Eritrean (after it actually counts them) in the manner that the current regime obsesses over every square inch of Eritrean land (an obsession it has failed to deliver on), Eritreans will continue to treat the country as a clear and present danger to their well-being and do what it takes to escape–even as they know the route they are taking is extremely dangerous.  And if their asylum requests are denied and they are facing deportation, they will continue to have one destination: Anywhere but Eritrea.  This does not tell us that they are naive or thrill-seekers; it tells us that the Eritrean regime has created a State that is hazardous to its own citizens.

We pray for the departed and give our condolences to the bereaved families.  We hope the opposition, in all our disjointed existence, will be jolted out of its stupor and recognize that the only way to stop such tragedies from repeating over and over again is to target the root cause–the predatory Eritrean regime–in an organized and focused way.  Today, we grieve– but justice requires we do more than that.

inform. inspire. embolden. reconcile.

About Awate Team

The Awate Team is a group of individuals who collaborate in preparing editorial contents that mainly appear under the PENCIL signature and other columns that carry the Awate Team signature. It represents the collective team's view.

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  • Michael, B.

    I must correct and complete, with a message, what I wrote, the other day. Please forgive. The urgent thing to do in the present emergency is to save life. Precious life must not end in so cruel manner. Our families, at home and in the diaspora: be aware! You cannot let our young people go to a deadly adventure and expect to see them again. Do not take offence. I do not have a solution, but I do see dangers coming and going and still looming. We must prevent dangers, any way we can.
    It is true, family members want to help their own people. But we all know that exile is not an option. Our younger generation have the right to life, health, schooling, in short, quality of life in their beloved land. But we saw them die. For what purpose? What we experience is meaningless and cruel. We have to restrain ourselves into believing that what we lost in our dear Eritrea may be found in foreign land and in a quite emergency time: Europe is economic trouble! Or they are probably missing their shameful opulence. They intend to shut their fortress and keep it shut. As long as it takes.
    Europeans know, from their history, they are not that civilized or altruistic or generous in fact they are egoistic beyond comparison. Remember they are the ones who invaded the continents to profit in their most barbaric ways, throughout the past centuries. Nowadays, they have more of their own economic problems, though they may still throw tons of food. They are not suffering hunger because of luck of basic necessities.
    Be aware! Those who for reason of conquest and taking advantage of unknown, distant land, are prepared to shelter anybody they see as exotic, black, parasites, non-genuine refugees, economic migrants etc. They are not willing to receive Africans with open arms, in this particularly difficult time. Italian and Europeans people alike. The Sahara desert or the Mediterranean waters are not the real obstacle.
    Italian politicians, it seems, are unable to improve their democratic vision. They have been counting so many “repubbliche” but the returns are meagre in terms of human rights, political integrity or constitutional maturity. They are backward, corrupt, and so they are determined to stop the flow of African migrants at any cost. Besides, they feel that their country by itself cannot cope with uncontrolled flow of people. They need assistance from other members of the European Union and they are not getting it. They feel the pressure of the ordinary citizens who are unemployed, restless and intolerant.
    The Italian authorities mean it: they allow no migrant invasion, before resolving their own problem. The Lampedusani of course are suffering with their mayor and their officials with good intentions. Many express sympathies. The Pope is alert and spoke as he expected do, for all the unfortunate migrants. Humanitarian entities are mobilized, Are they? Are they allowed to rescue? There must be some people playing tricks, deadly tricks and been playing tricks for years, I assume, a variety of tricks. Active sabotage is likely at work. They seem to find no alternative. A peaceful, effective and wise one is beyond reach. They cannot find it for us!
    The boat owners, rather than the boats, the Italian / European politicians, rather than the fishermen and ordinary citizens are to blame. Above all, we Africans, and more so we Eritreans are to blame. We are not able to resolve our internal problems. We are all directly concerned, those in our homeland and those in foreign countries. We have to come to terms with the grim situation of our nation. We must reclaim our rights, as a people. Preferably through peaceful means. One mad man cannot have all the say: this is not the time for tyrants!
    TsinAt yhabena!

  • Hawi

    Eritreans , you poured gasoline and burnt my cousin alive because he is Tigraway and you lost the war in Asmara back in 99. You need to do some soul searching. I

  • Michael, B.

    The persecution, the suffering and the cruel death of the Eritrean people is manifold and unending. They have much unfortunate historical linkage with the life experience of the Jews! Unlike the Jews, however they were among the last to migrate anywhere and the least able financiers. On the contrary, they have been most prone to look down the jebeli, the Atari, the zib’i, the nehabi. They regarded themselves as the noble Akhwayat! Their traditions did not spare them the most gruesome hardships of life in the most strange context, anywhere.
    Of all the people facing the Red Sea, the Eritreans, perhaps besides the Egyptians, might be the closest to the Jews also from the point of view of history, culture, ethnicity, religion and degrading condition, such as apartheid. In antiquity they were dominant in their immediate environment and with some imperialistic tendencies.
    During the 1st half of the 6th cen. AD., Dhu Newas, the Jewish king of Himyar in present-day Yemen, had been persecuting the young Christian Church there. As it is well-known, the Ag’azian army led by king Kaleb conducted a punitive expedition against the Dhu Newas. In the aftermath of the Himyaritic repeated invasion and victory, some Himyarite-Yemenite Jews, most probably converts, rather than ethnic, might have been taken as captives. The emissaries of hatsey Kaleb might have sent them into exile across the sea, to Ag’aziland. One would wildly guess they, eventually, settled in parts of Eritrea or Tigray, for good.
    Jews of Southern Arabia were allegedly sold to slavery, also by Abraha, the rebel king of Yemen, whether ethnic Jews or Himyar converts. For these reasons and other occurrences of history, some Eritreans might be more Jewish than the Falasha / Bete-Israel also by reason of geography, culture and trade and random relations. I believe the latter are African by origin and ethnicity and their religious books are probably some variations of our Old Testament with additions. Some people make names into insults, very easily. Calling one “Jew” would simply stick!
    Alas, the modern Jews opted to “return” to Palestine and went to dispossess the Arabs. They built a strong army, too strong for the enemies, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian combined army could not prevail over the tiny but formidable force. The Jewish invaders and newcomers won ground by force of arms and populated it with settlers from all over the world. They grew shamelessly arrogant, unaccountable and uncompromising. Their suffering at the hands of the Nazis and other racists of Europe and the Western World, throughout the ages, it seems, gave them somewhat a barbaric, unlawful and unjust right to reprisals. They would kill 100 for 1, with impunity.
    They, certainly, believe in their technological prowess than in high moral ground and code of ethics. They would the ones to help our young refugees. They do not. The Eritrean people of the last centuries had and have to face hard experiences and find none to turn to. Even the Jews did forget where they came from. They are indifferent and abandon them or build concentration camp! And would not communicate honestly with the Mafioso meriHinet due their strategic interest!
    They could if they wanted to brief the boss in Asmara about the human trafficking, the deadly trekking in the Sahara and the Mediterranean mass drowning, in case he is not informed. They would have compelled him to do anything about it and give him a helping hand to resolve the Sinai bedwin crimes, next door. They chose not to.
    The lady mayor of Lampedusa appears to be responsible official. She is doing something ethically and materially worthwhile and could not opt to ignore the tragedies of the Eritrean and the African migrants. She is leading her overwhelmed town communities while is confronted with the tactics of the deeply biased Lega Lombarda, the local corruption and probably the organized crime. She showed courage, honesty and care for the unfortunate and within the constraint of the hopeless Italian politics.
    Jirgedela 20-21 mewaelna imo rigits zillikimo Ounet allowo! Amlake Eritra Ykhden! Nibil mis tsinuAt amentina.

  • beyan negash

    The Simpletons, the numbskulls, the dimwits ( take your pick) attempt at rational and reasoned thinking is so preposterous that you just cannot help but be reminded of how African Americans in the 1800s came up with the saying, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words won’t hurt me’ as they fought the Jim Crow laws of ultimate subjugation. Little do these so called regime supporters realize they cannot add insult to injury here, because by their feeble attempt to defend the indefensible they are inadvertently admitting of their culpabilities to the crimes being committed by the low-lifers of the Horn. There is nothing more that can be added that would make the tragedy worse than what it is already. Young Eritrean men, women, and children have perished and the ultimate injury to our soul has been exacted – nothing what so ever these knuckle-heads can say will hurt. We are seeing the tragedy in real time.

    Needless to say every time these Simpletons open their mouth it just betrays them, for nothing comes out of it but obscenely filth, insanely rubbish, and sheer stupidity that is spitted out considering the context in which they are uttering their nonsensical stuff. And the irony is that little do these numbskulls realize that they are hurling their stones from a glass house, and a pebble is all it would take to smash their absurd reasoning to pieces. And Awatawyan, you have done a marvelous job as you pull them down in disgrace from their high horses. When the higher moral ground is on one’s side, no matter how hard and how high their political power, nothing sticks and nothing will ever stick.

    The sticks and stones maybe on their side today, but there will come a time –sooner than later – and they will neither have the sticks nor the stones and of course they will come out swinging with their new found Eritrea prevailing over evil mantra because nobody knows their real identity, but their turn-coat characteristics will ostensibly show their real color in due course. I have no worries there.

    I just want to thank, first and foremost, the Awate Team for burning that virtual candle and obviously for those tireless souls who are keeping us abreast by pulling all their resources to show us what these Eritrean Simpletons and their demi-gods wish we wouldn’t see. Thank you, thank you, and thank you all. Keep the virtual candle burning and let it flame. Our flame of anger and despair shall find a positive impetus to inevitably showing our brothers and sisters back home that they are not alone – we will stand with them through thick and thin. Stick or stone, insult or injury: we endure.

    • Kokhob Selam

      thank you thank you thank you. reading this comforts me a lot.we will gain more strenth out of this tragedy.

      • beyan negash

        Dear Kokhob Selam,

        I owe you a reply from last week in which you kindly wondered if I read the jebena production. I will be honest with you whenever I see tigrinya script I just skip it; nothing against my own language, but just that I had to make a decision just as I did long ago to exclusively visit only Awate and Asmarino out of all Eritrean websites due to time constraints.

        But, your jebena seems to have a great deal of quality coffee to offer gathering from a number of positive comments that I read here in the dialogue box and various times that you kindly invite readers to come and visit. So, I am leaning now to give it a visit this coming weekend. An hour a week is all I am thinking but knowing my disposition to coffee addiction, I will probably end spending more; and I am sure there is plenty there that would keep me entertained.

        Keep on keeping your prolific productions, Kokhob Selam – what a befitting name (shall I say, penname or artistic name you chose for youself?)


        • Kokhob Selam

          dear beyan,

          thank you. I hope you will find it intersting.for your information you will find more than 80 poesm and most of them are connected with artilces written in the same day or withn some days. I will expect you fedback in the Jebena page. if my poems are worth I may have put them with my own voice right in Jebana. by the way there are more than 200 poems some political but some far from politics ready exculuding those 80+ and also there are as old as 70’s poems and I handing over to my children.

  • semere Andom

    Serray, Sal and Haile:
    You articulated the multi-faceted evil nature of the gangs in Asmara most eloquently. The PFDJ nation is hard at work on how to use this tragedy to their advantage. We cannot really blame the Eritreans inside the country, but the diaspora supporters of the regime ( the new name of PFDJ now is the “Negado Kolali” or merchants of kidneys) who exuded their lack of the most basic of human emotions and dubbed our dead as taking undue risk for iphones and ipads, I tell them that great flood that God unleashed on the pagan worshipers is eminent and it will be more disastrous than the oceans that claimed the lives of our brothers and sisters
    And only “Noah’s” ilk will survive on the ship that is slowly, but surely being built
    woe to our version own Nephilims

  • saay

    Selam awatistas:

    A contrast:

    Some news outlets have reported that some of the victims in Lamedusa are from Ghana. So:


    The government* of Ghana is sending its officials to confirm and provide services. Meanwhile, all we have heard from the Eritrean regime (after it tried to hide the fact that many of the victims were Eritreans, and still is trying to hide it) is that Yemane Gebremeskel (no portfolio) expressing his sadness to a regime friendly (“house negro”, in the words of Malcolm X) websites.


    *The ABCs of governing: show interest in the lives of citizens.

    • haile

      Selamat saay,

      One think that is bothersome is however, the fact that the regime lacks capacity. It has no political or diplomatic credit left to dispense with. I think if the UNSC HR indictment is Afabet then Lampedusa is Massawa!

      Here is a portrait of dignity in death that they were denied in life:



      • haile

        clarifying: the analogies are that of the magnitude of loss to the regimes propaganda firepower is that of equivalent to dergue’s loss off actual firepower in those battles!

        • haile

          And here is the first glimpse of a survivor speaking with the media:


          I say to the regime operatives to go slower, people will come out and facts would be established. Please remember that your attempts to deny the dead their very identity would be way too sickening to defend….

          • Papillon

            Dearest Haile,

            Many thanks for the tireless effort in providing us with updated information as we wait for a light to break out of the darkness hovering over our nation. Again many thanks hawey.

  • YAY

    Dear All: “Eritrea is NOT hazardous to Eritreans.” Most Eritreans are there.

    According to still developing news reports, on Monday, September 30, an illegal migrant boat with about 250 passengers on it “ran aground” less than 20 meters from the shores of Sicily, Italy, and some were saved but 13 among those who tried to swim and reach land perished. The 13 victims were reportedly all Eritreans.
    Again, on Thursday, October 03, 2013, a ship carrying more than 500 illegal migrants malfunctioned stopped about 600 meters from the coast of Lampedusa Island, Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea. No passing ship/boat offered to help the wrecked ship, and somebody started fire on the top deck of the stopped ship to attract attention for help from any one, but nobody came to help, partially because it is a crime to help rescue a ship that entered Italian territorial waters illegally. The migrants could not call people for help because their cell phones were taken away from them in Libya. It is an overwhelming set of events to comprehend—i.e. inconceivable sad aggregate of bad circumstances occurred at once without anybody’s expectations to result in the tragic deaths of hundreds of passengers.

    Out of the over 500 illegal migrants on the capsized ship only 155 have survived the wreck and 111 bodies have so far been recovered from the sea. The remaining 200 to 250 are presumed to be dead but their bodies have yet to be collected. According to the news sources (presumably some of the survivors), most of the victims were Eritreans.

    These are victims of circumstances. The hazards (incidents of the ship wreck, fire, the depths of the sea, sea waves, illegal and unreliable transportation vessels, confiscation of their means of communications, inability to swim, etc.) were not hazards caused by the actions of Eritrea, or the GoER. Any hazards that could have happened in Eritrea ended when the migrants crossed Eritrean international borders. These Eritreans did not die in Eritrea. They met their tragic deaths far away from Eritrea, in the violent Mediterranean Sea. It could reasonably not be concluded that, because of their deaths, “Eritrea is hazardous to Eritreans”. Regardless of who is to be blamed for their deaths, their demise brings indescribable sorrow deep into my bones.

    The Awate Team (TAT)argues that the deaths of the victims were largely caused by the actions and policies of the GoER. It confidently states, ” Yes, it is almost entirely the Eritrean regime’s fault.” TAT mentioned ER’s Foreign Minister’s speech at the UN, but his proposal was not the direct cause of these tragedies. A better idea was if TAT had suggested that if the “multi-polar” restructuring proposal is good for the UN it is also good for Eritrea , but didn’t. Next, TAT opines that ER’s youth may be leaving ER for better economic opportunities: ‘why would they leave if ER’s economy “is making tangible progress to improve the lives of Eritreans”? TAT assumes that if there is “significant progress”, it must stop migration. There could be tangible progress but not yet sufficient enough for all.
    TAT puts the blame of the exodus of the Eritrean youth almost entirely on the GoER policies. One would expect such a stand from an “opposition”, but we have to see what would have been better policies for ER. TAT assumes that the youth exodus is caused by conscription, or the indefinite national service based on GoER’s defense strategy. Conscriptions anywhere produce 15-30% draft dodgers and that proportion would be expected in ER too. TAT agrees with GoER in its assessment that one may not force persons fight at all times a war they didn’t want to. For that reason GoER no more accepts forced deportation of draft dodgers to ER, has eased restrictions on leaving national service, and is letting more of ER’s youth legally go out of ER. If TAT’s objection is indefinite service, (and imagining that TAT were at the helm) what is its best alternative strategy to deter ER’s adversaries and defend ER’s independence?

    TAT could not definitely say if the UN sanctions are causing the exodus but still blames the GoER for getting sanctioned. In previous statements TAT believes that the sanctions ought to continue as a means of compelling PFDJ to get weaker or collapse without considering the consequences on the nation’s economy or stability, even after reading in the last SEMG report that some trucks or machinery needed for economic development use might be converted into military use. If the GoER policies on Somalia and Djibouti are to be blamed for UN sanctions, those who imposed, or supported, or don’t desire to adjust those sanctions commensurate to ER’s change in policies and practices must also share the blame for the consequences on the Eritrean people.

    About asylum seekers: definitely GoER has done its part in producing asylum seekers because of conscription, indefinite national service, or detaining some Eritreans in its efforts of pursuing national security purposes. In any nation national security and individual freedoms often contradict and ought to be balanced, but the GoER had done nothing that even the most democratic republics don’t still do. Certain disrespect of individual freedoms go with the territory of national security, and in ER and everywhere else such practices should be discontinued when unnecessary. But could we definitely say that the recent victims were escapees or legal migrants who wanted to illegally enter Europe? We have not yet received any report of an investigation. How, then, could we conclude that ” Yes, it is almost entirely the Eritrean regime’s fault.” It seems to me that The Awate Team is rushing into an unsubstantiated (and, hence, unreasonable) conclusion.

    We all have to be reasonable. I think it is true that, because of the general No-War-and-No-Peace situation in ER, there presumably are less individual freedoms and educational-business-economic-professional opportunities for all Eritrean youths and there is a tendency to look abroad for better opportunities. The fact that many don’t want to be deported back to ER does not seem to be because Eritrea is hazardous to them but the opportunities the returnees might miss in foreign lands. We, all Eritreans, have to let potential migrants know that the opportunities in foreign lands might momentarily be better than those in ER, but those opportunities are not worth taking such horrendous risks. It is wise to take calculated risks and not blindly taking life-costing risks. There would never be opportunities after death, ever.

    • danny

      The apologists of the regime have no boundary to their shame. The Eritrean regime is the sole root cause of the desperation our people are exposed too day in day out wherever they may be. The world does know PFDJ and its leaders have killed Eritreans in thousands so 500 victims mean nothing to them. Please spare us your crocodile tears and your never ending blame game. Learn to have a trace of humanity in your otherwise inhumane nature.

    • bini

      For your information ignorant poster who said most Eritreans are there in Eritrea, most Eritreans would leave in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. There are virtually no Eritreans who want to stay in that burning hell of a country because of your daddy Isaias. You have the guts to blame the innocent perished lives for taking horrendous risks. Ask yourself why they are taking these horrendous risks? It is because like Awate.com said, Eritrea is a hazard to ALL Eritreans. mesta hizbi yewiridelkum antum HIGDEF abuur bjeka guyla kal wiray zeyblom.

      I just saw a friend of mine who came back from Eritrea recently. He said he was hanging out with childhood friend late one night and the friend said he had an important appointment and he asked the visitor for USA to take him home and later drop him off at the appointment place. My friend from USA asked why would you have an appointment this late? The Eritrean resident said, “please just take me, it is important and I could lose a lot if I miss it.” My US friend agreed and took him home. The Eritrea resident said he will change and come back with his laptop. A few minutes later he comes back with a rifle and tells my USA friend that this is my laptop. It made me laugh at first but when I thought about it a little more, I was so saddened because these are old men, my friend here celebrated his 65th birth day in May so the guy with tebenja must be thereabouts.

      Okay Mr YAY Ignorant, which country are you now going to pull a parallel with? Eritrea is in its own Universe. There is no comparison with anything in this world. For all we know, North Korea is better because I don’t hear of any North Koreans drowning in the Sea of Japan.

      • haile

        Selamat Bini,

        I was meaning to replay to you, but…oh well things took over 🙂 Thanks. Now, I have to warn you to go easy on YAY – he doesn’t show any bond to Eritreans from reading his comment. I suspect he is probably just another “African Migrant” with out a clue about about Eritrea and its people.

        YAY – @ “These Eritreans did not die in Eritrea. They met their tragic deaths far away from Eritrea, in the violent Mediterranean Sea.”

        Let me help jog your memory:

        “These Eritreans were born in Eritrea. They met their tragic deaths far away from Eritrea, in the violent Mediterranean Sea.”

        How does that look to you now????

        • bini

          Selamat Haile. I had actually started typing, “Dear Voices of Reason – SAAY, Haile, Papillon, etc. please do not engage this YAY character…” But then I couldn’t contain myself and started my humble reply. Now that we got him engaged, you should smack him with your choice words, phrases, and quotes in your vast faculties.

          I think the biggest obstacle we have to make any democratic changes in Eritrea is that Shaebia has done a lot of ‘nearly’ irreversible brainwashing not to every Eritrean mind you (there is us in this forum to mention a few) but to a large proportion of our people. As you know, a large number of Diaspora Eritreans get their news of Eritrea and of the world solely from Eri-TV. We must fight ignorance before we could bring about any change. YAY sadly represents the majority of Eritrean mindset but please anybody correct me if I am wrong.

          • bini

            Correction if anybody is reading – “YAY sadly represents the majority of Eritrean mindset but please anybody correct me if I am wrong.” This should read “YAY sadly represents the majority of DIASPORA Eritrean mindset but please anybody correct me if I am wrong.”

    • saay

      Selamat Yay:

      Don’t take our word for it. Here’s a 1 minute tutorial from an expert as to why Eritreans are taking desperate measures:



      PS: to claim that Eritrea is not a hazard to Eritreans because most Eritreans are still in Eritrea is like saying a rabid dog is not a hazard to men because most survive its bite.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Die hard pfdj YAY!

      One very well educated Somali man have said after he observed the Young imigrants ‘Norway is a blessed country for all these strong well to do Yougsters pouring here’. Any country who have produced these youths have used a good deal of Resources from zero year upto the time they arrive to their destiny, leaving the love, the afection, the netwrok and all the risks aside.

      And now those well to do strong youngsters who are pouring in Norway are from eirtrea. Leaving Somalia aside, Eritreas youngsters are more than all the rest of the nations combined including Syria and Afghanistan. What does this number tell you,YAY? Do you know what it takes for a 19 or less Young girl to go through from Asmara, Sudan, yemen or Libya, then the boat, etc etc and finally to Europa. Some ends up in Greek streets, some in itally, some in any camps of eurpa for indefinte time. Thanks for your admission that your government involvment in Somalia to the extent of seeking for sanction, endless military service, the no-peace-no-war policy, but you sruprised me not understand its impact on the socity at large. All governments are subjected in all kinds of challanges and it is upto the individual government to tackle the chalanges With all possible avoidance of HAZZARD in the country.


      what ever is the reason hundreds of young Eritreans are finished inside the Mediterranean sea, what ever is the reason hundred of Eritreans are died in the desert of Sinai by Rasahida considered one Eritrean tribe. what ever is the reason young Eritreans has been sold by Eritreans elites themselves.
      whom to blame is only the Eritrean regime , who never care about his people. yes Eritrea is hazardous to its people.
      The time of excuse is finished. We are interested on blaming our neighbors of our problems, but we failed to analyses our weakness and ability to resolve our problems.
      I think Eritrea and Eritreans are lost with out country. if Isayas open the door even the old people have leave this country and gone away.

  • haile

    Let’s affirm “You shall stay with us, until the very end!”

    Lampedusa bids farewell to Eritrean youth and children who lost their lives at sea.



    • haile

      …and a video of the calm before the disaster:


      • I have also watched the video clip on a Facebook. The boat is apparently overcrowded. The engine also sounds rough. Such engine could stall at any moment. Traffickers are clearly making a killing trafficking humans.

        Let’s say if every passenger pays $1,000. And if the boat carries 500 individuals. In one go, the traffickers would make a whopping profit of $500,000. I don’t think this traffickers would go out of business soon considering the high profit margin the business delivers. Not only the traffickers but also many “dellalas” in the supply chain would make a living out of trafficking.

        • Oh, by the way, we have seen many Eritreans who have also made money from other people’s (Eriteans) misfortune. I don’t see these people different from the traffickers.

    • Papillon

      Oh Haile hawey, this is painful. I can’t even describe it. Entay maAtu eU weriduna. I can’t take it anymore.

    • Serray

      Selamat Haile,

      Here is a piece from USA Today. They are saying the, “ship packed with 500 migrants , nearly all from Eritrea”. And the regime called them illigal immigrant.


      The survivors are asking to identify the victims… and this video will go a long way. They are also asking to possibly send the remains back home for proper. We should help them in that endeavor.


      Do you know of any organization that can link us to the ones working on the ground?

      Is it me or the silence from the eritreans in Italy is deafening?

    • yegermal

      OMG Haile! What a heart-wrenching sight described in the most somber and melancholic of terms! And these are the lucky ones for their remains will be shipped back home for final closure. The families of those whose bodies remain missing will have no closure. Eway yehwatey!

      “In the hangar of death there lie the 111 coffins of the victims, arranged in three lines, all numbered and with a red flower lain on top, a rose or a mum. An immense grief, in which 4 small white coffins containing the remains of the children deceased in the boat accident, standout. They are numbered 92, 14, 93 and 15. On top, a flower and a teddy bear. ” La Repubblica

  • Kim Hanna

    To All:,

    My condolences to the families and relatives of all the people who lost their lives this past week in Med. sea. What a horrible news.
    My heart felt, deep sadness and sympathy to all those touched by this human tragedy.


  • saay

    Selamat awatistas:

    For context–why do Eritreans flee their countries and why do they take the particular journeys they take– the BBC (whose coverage on this has lived up to its legend) has the story.


    Its the story of two Eritreans, both now in Switzerland. One appears to have adjusted to his new life, and another is too haunted by the experience to have a normal life.

    This attempt to mystify why Eritrean youth flee their country is so transparently bogus it’s like asking why do people lift their hands from a burning stove. The theory of rational choice still applied: no matter how risky it’s for young Eritreans to take these horrible journey on rickety boats and containers and deserts where people drink their urine and watch their friends die, it must be even riskier to remain in Eritrea. That’s their reality.


    • haile

      Selamat Saay

      When the Eritrean regime:

      1 – Says to the world that it has no knowledge of Eritreans in distress but “illegal migrants of nationals of Africa”

      2 – Says, via its interlocutors here and other forums, that

      a) The Victims deserve it and they are to blame

      b) The family of the victims are also to blame and deserve it

      c) It is only few Eritreans, the rest are Ethiopians impersonating Eritreans, and instead of sending condolences to “Africa” or “Ethiopia” calls for candle lit services in Eritrean communities (Why if it thinks they’re not Eritreans)

      Hence, I would like to rephrase Antonio Guterres UN High Commissioner for refugees when he said “There is something fundamentally wrong in a world where people in need of protection have to resort to these perilous journeys”

      and say it instead “There is something fundamentally wrong in Eritrea where Eritreans in need of protection have to resort to these perilous journeys”


    • If it were riskier in Eritrea, the majority of the population would flee from Eritrea despite the shoot to kill policy of the government. Staying in Eritrea appears to be less risky than trying the alternatives: refugees (Sudan +Ethiopia) or Israel or Europe.
      The migrants can’t stay in a refugee camp for years with no work, no future. Refugee camps have become almost synonymous with living inside Eritrea. There are thousands of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia whom I met who say that they are fed, sheltered, and also receive basic medical attention, but those are not enough; such kind of life for them is so pointless that many of them lose hope therefore take the chance to go to Israel or Europe by paying thousands of dollars to human traffickers. Needless to say, the refugees can’t see themselves age disgracefully in refugee camps.

    • Serray

      Selamat Sal,

      I once saw a little girl wearing heavy gloves during a very hot summer day. I asked her mother why. She told me that her daughter doesn’t feel her hands; some kind of nerve disorder. She said even if her hand is on fire, she won’t feel a thing.

      At first, the regime supporters felt something and searched for alternative explanation when they come across news like this. Not anymore. Their callous response is not because they don’t believe the dislocation happens in eritrea, it is that they don’t feel what a human being has to do when faced with a life of slavery disguised as national service. They are not choosing to believe one story over another; it is their nature now.

      Serial killers, rapists and sadists are not born, they are made. One of the mistakes we make is, we attach humanity to these people. There is nothing human about isaias or those who stick with him. Treating them any less than a foaming bulldog is a disservice to their victims. Sometimes they give an illusion of humanity because they can scribble gibberish; but make no mistake, those who enslave our brothers/sisters and those who cheer them have long crossed the threshold of humanity. Understanding them requires a full grasp of their bestial nature.

  • Serray


    The French has called for refugee summit, I hope something comes out of it.


    Given the population of refugees worldwide is mostly from war torn countries except eritrea, I hope they examine why the regime in eritrea is purposely wreaking havoc on its people. Specifically, they should look at the practice of slavery and human trafficking by the regime. No system, even during slavery, benefited from both the practice of slavery and the flight of slaves. Shaebia’s practice of working slaves to death or selling them for rich arab organ replacement or as a source for foreign currency is unheard of.

    Reading article after article about the fate of our people, one can’t help but be crushed by the fact that this regime is made up of tegadelti. Selam’s haunting observation comes to mind. What did the dummy said on that interview, water doesn’t come to people, people need to go where water is? The repulsive monkey is right. The problem is, in the desert eritrea he and his cannibalistic comrades created, they don’t even let people go in dignity to where water, life, is.

    Imagine what our young are facing with, it is not that they don’t have a country to live in dignity, it is that they don’t have a country to run away from in dignity. Starting from the slave camps we call sawa, to ethiopia’s refugee camps; from Egypt’s holding camps, to Israel’s concentration camps; from the prisons in libya, to the death traps in sinai, our young are disrespected, interned, sold for spare organs, raped, tortured, drowned and killed. This is the legacy of shaebia. Twenty two years and they managed to turn us, people with history, people who managed to keep three civilizations (habesha, islamic and western) in perfect harmony, into boat people. And there is a doctor in training, waiting, learning, hoping, to continue their legacy.

  • Ghezae Hagos

    Selam Papillon, Serray, Yegeramal, Haile and all,

    In these dark times, we are hurting. We will continue, until that critical mass is attained. There are few guideposts. Let us not waste them..Again.

    We, at the opposition, lost crucial opportunity for not pushing to campaign aggressively to put the terrorist of all the terrorists, the PFDJ regime in State Sponsor of Terrorism List.

    For three years, we have failed to capitalize on the UNSC sanctions (1907, 2023) resolutions.

    Right now, we have our apt instrument, the Special Rapporteur office. I am immensely heartened, Haile’s full support to this crucial office that will address home-bound human rights issues.

    Simply speaking; our advocacy groups need you, Papillon, Yegermal, Serray and others. We are woefully understaffed, woefully inexperienced, woefully desperate.

    Please hop in the fledging groups of your choosing, keeping your identities intact.

    We hope this will be turning point for all of us: to dare, as Sal said.

    Al the best,

    Ghezae Hagos

    • Papillon

      Dearest Ghezae,

      I hear you hawey. I hear you loud and clear. I am involved and engaged in my capacity to fight tyranny where to elect for indifference is not only morally unacceptable but it is as well a trait that will set us on the same plane with entity that we are fighting against. It behooves us to shoulder responsibility as we are men and women of conscience who are armed with justice as we fight injustice. May Yahweh look out for our people.


    • Nitricc

      Gezae your opposition needs
      Papillon, Ygermal and serray. Now that is epic
      Lol, Wow, you guys are funny.
      What your opposition need is to have an idea, to have a program and to sever any connection with likes of papillon, ygemaral , serray and the rest of good for nothing.

      • Papillon


        Halew-lew aytbel. You might as well find your own league.

      • yegermal

        Ata Nitric, you’re been dubbed “high-maintenance”, “medakemi”,”attention-seeking gelemele”, eji ke “infantile” teteweseko gremdo? Please act your age!

    • yegermal


      That’s a great summon! I would love to be involved in such a worthy cause and will contact awate webmaster via email to authorize my contact info to be passed along to you, if that is OK with you that is.

      Thank you!

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Dearest Papillon, Yegermal and all,

        Along with our passionate participation and camaraderie we show at awate forum, we can summon our resources and put our heads together to contribute to the advocacy groups and networks of Eritrean activists. There are a couple in North America, Europe and Australia. Some could cater to our interests and passions.

        For anyone who want to contact me here is my email address: ghezae_hagos@yahoo.com

    • TheTruth

      What you fail to realize is that your lies are what are stopping you from obtaining the support of the masses? By campaigning for the state sponsor of terrorism label, which is an obvious lie, you are sentencing more people to flee and die because the sanctions will be even more severe. You truly don’t understand how the world works. Sad really

  • Haqi

    The sadist cult leader and his blind worshipers laugh and enjoy to see Eritreans suffer and cry. Why do they hate us so much? How do they sleep at night? I can’t handle all the suffering and pain anymore, miskinay hizbi Eritrea.

    Ajokum. Deki awate ezi win yihalif

  • Papillon


    One of the regime’s lackey website posted a statement issued by Yemane Gebremeskel (Charlie) where he “expressed” his heart felt condolences to the grieving families. This of course is to tame the already frantic rabid dogs of the regime here in Diaspora where in reality nothing what so ever to that effect is expressed on Eri-TV where most of the people inside the country tune in. This is a tragedy of an epic proportion. Hgidef mendef, I hate you. Sereqti sereqti deqi sebeyti. N’bAt adietat is knocking on the doors of heaven. And the Almighty God will unleash his wrath upon you. Ezgiher bonqisu yetf’Ekum. I hate you to my bones.

    • Papilion,

      I have never seen you burst in emotion. I always thought you were one of those who stay cool-headed in crisis. You switched to your mother tongue when it came to swearing. You said among others : ” Ezgiher bonqisu yetf’Ekum”. You remind me of my grandfather who when angered about something would resort to name calling in Italian. He would throw such insults as : vaffan***kulo, sporco, testa d’gavallo, testa d’gatoo 😉 Please don’t lose your temper.

      BTW: I enjoy your comments . I usually don’t read posted-articles, but enjoy reading people’s comments.

      • I am also really saddened by the horrific tragedy that took place near Sicily where 13 migrants (many of whom are believed to be from Eritrea) drowned, and off the island of Lampedusa where more than 200 migrants (many of whom are reported to have been from Eritrea) died.

        As much as I blame the Eritrean government, I hold many of the migrants and their Diaspora relatives responsible. This tragedy is not new. Similar incident has happened in the past. Many of the Eritrean migrants know full well the risk associated with it. Their Diaspora relatives also know full well what could go wrong. Despite all the inherent dangers, the Diaspora Eritreans foot the bill for their migrant relatives’ long and arduous travel by trekking the desert t, and sailing the sea of the Mediterranean to reach Europe. Europe for many migrants is a land of milk and honey; many have seen their friends in the face book living a good life and concluded that they have to take action to go through what their friends went through.

        To stop similar tragedies from happening, we need to make the migrants, as well as the Diaspora friends, and relatives of the migrants aware of the inherent dangers of migration through the desert to Libya (where many of them face many years of jail time). At the same time, we should hasten the downfall of the Eritrean regime.

        • yegermal


          Your comment to Papillon was very patronizing. Beyond that, you can try to pose as a caring citizen but it is evident that you’re only attempting to shrug off the tragedy and in the process defend the rogue regime. In any case, and am sure you’re miscounting on purpose, “So far 111 bodies have been recovered and up to 200 people are still unaccounted for. Rescuers have brought 155 people ashore ” not THIRTEEN as you so blatantly asserted. If I were you, I would not bother to psychoanalyze people who exhibit normal emotions in times like these, I would worry about those of you who seem unfazed by it all.


          • Yegermal,

            I did not meant to patronize papilion if that ‘s how you understood my comment. I appologize if that ‘s how Papilon understood it. Who am I to patronize a highly intelligent woman like Papilon. I don’t know why this incident has become such a new thing to you all. Such tragedies have happened many times in the past and would still happen in the future. Just watch ! What I don’t understand is why Eritreans don’t learn from tragedies like this. My little brother recently landed in Sicily after having been told by many of us (his brothers and sisters) not dare try to go to Europe by boat. He did and called my sister in Germany that he arrived in Italy. That’s what is frustrating. “mikerew mikerew embi kale mekera yimikerew”

      • Papillon

        Dear Dawit,

        I am sure Ygermal misunderstood your take on the issue at hand. And many thanks for those kind words. Awate flourishes when bright young people like you grace the forum.


    • Sis Papillon,

      I can understand your animation. We are all in the same mood and heartbreaking sorrow. What we need is moral strength and keep on our fighting and do anything and everything at our disposal. This tragedy is a continuous tragedy as long as the monoster is breathing and kicking. The Eritrean people have resigned from fighting. Read to what Nitric has said in his comment on the “merhaba Jebena” page in response to Haile. Nitric is a microcosm of the dreaded Eritrean people. He said that he wishes Issayas is gone…..but since we don’t have courage to remove him, let us wait his natural death. He told us Issayas doesn’t want to be given directions and orders from others,so he will fight to the death. He is telling us that the Eritrean people have already resigned to fight which I agree his characterization so far. We need a heck of work to change this psychological fallout within our people. Our people lost all our humanity and courage in this battle – never seen in our history being overwhelemed by fear.

      • Papillon

        Dearest Aman,

        I had to vent for the pain was too intense to bear. History is replete with moral lapses where segments of a society perished as major powers looked-on as in “All Quite on the Western Front.” The world is yet to wake up to an Eritrea under a leader where Sadam Hussain, Gadafi to mention but a few are a child’s play. The menacing entity that is marauding the Eritrean soul is beyond the trite resolutions of the Western powers. The only way out is, it should be seen as a vicious neoplasm that needs to be rooted out without ifs and buts.

        Sure enough, the frequently cited rather lame reasons by the proponents of the regime is the unknown horizon post tyranny where the workable options on the table are less convincing. Fair enough, but to wait for the sadist leader to expire due to an old age is betting on more Eritrean souls in body bags. Time is of a crucial essence. More over, to hope for the sadist to foster a soft heart towards the Eritrean people is to gamble on their lives. And that is immoral beyond redemption. The man doesn’t have the valour to fight to death. His only “acumen” hitherto is to strike first before his enemies do and that is more often the conniving modus operandi of cowardice. I bet he is not going to fight till the last man standing. He will either flee or spill his guts out in exchange for mercy. Mark my word.


    • yegermal


      I share your feelings sis, I too have cast my curse on these callous people…and am certain that the tables will turn soon enough and they will get a taste of their own bitter medicine. Nesomn wulud weledeomn eti merghem nitsuhan aykimihrom eyu! Ajoki Farfaletta Haftey:)

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Light candles!

    One candel to shine on the darkness that falls on the Lampedusa the symbole for saying NO! for tyrants! On the evils that consumed the hundreds innocent lives!

    One candel to shine on the darkness that falls in the heart of families who missed their love ones!

    One candel to shine on the darkness that falls in all the rest of us!

    One candel to shine hope for the lives lost in Lampedusa lost not in vain but on the contrarty!

  • ቴከላየ

    ብጣዕሚ ሓዚነ ብ “ኤረ ቲቪ” ምኽንያቱ በኣማኢት ዝቁፀሩ ዜጋታት ኤርትራ ምኻኖም ብማዕኸናት ዜና እናተነገረ እንከሎ ኤረ ቲቪ ዘይሕጋውያን ስደተኛታት ኣፍሪቃ ምባሉ ዘሕፍር እዩ። ኣነ ኢትዮጵያዊ እየ ኮይኑ ግን ብህዝቡ ዝቕልድ መንግስቲ ክርኢ ከለኹ ብጣዕሚ የሕዝን።
    ፅንዓት ይሓብኩም

  • haile


    As it slowly comes to be that the hundreds of Eritreans who are missing at sea will be unlikely to make it alive, may they rest in peace and condolences to all Eritrean Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters and the nation at large.

    The people and government of Italy are to be admired for their humanity, humility and civility in the face of such challenging reality.

    The regime of IA bears direct responsibility for this carnage and tragedy. This is not new, however, the fall of the regime from power will unearth crimes against Eritreans that it continues to commit that would make today’s tragedy minuscule in comparison.

    Since the time the tragedy started unfolding, its diaspora operatives (please understand that these are few paid individuals who are connected to its diaspora army, not the average Eritrean) have been spewing incessant profanities against the dead, accused the bereaved families and badmouthed activists who are trying to do their share to help the victims. Mind you that these operatives are part of a regime who is being summoned by the UN to open up for investigations, as the latter has found material evidence that the regime of IA is party in the human trafficking illicit trade carried out in the Sinai and elsewhere.

    In any case, tragedies like this one have been going on for almost about a decade now. Eritreans have dying quietly, massacred by the regime security at home, and falling pray to dangers as this one. It is important that we focus:

    1 – This fellow country men are escaping a life of certain abuse and degradation in Eritrea.

    2 – The regime is at the root of this problem.

    3 – Support of the regime amounts to desecration of the graves all of those Eritreans who perished for Eritrea and because of the regime in Eritrea.

    Eritreans are responsible to charting the future of their country, not a criminal regime that is squandering and blowing away their hard won independence in order to embezzle their meager resources.

    Here are three images of farewell to those who parted with us so young and early:





  • amhara

    All my sympathies to the families of the young who perished. The people of Eritrea have survived years of hardship. Some day all this will come to and end. It feels so helpless just saying words of comfort.

  • bini

    Dear Awate.com editors/publisher,

    What a splendid news article/analysis! The presentation is immaculate and if I may add it is worthy of all our sadness and shock this week. Thank you!

    I have been checking the major news sites as it relates to this story. I don’t quite remember following another event as much as I have been doing with this tragic incident. I don’t think I have much to add to what the website wrote and to the analysis of fellow Eritreans in this forum but once again I would simply like to send my condolences to the families of the victims. This has made me lose sleep unlike any other recent event.

    I would like to re-iterate, however, that the regime in Asmara and IA in particular is responsible for the loss of these precious young men and women. To some mother in Eritrea, a young victim here might be her only son. To some farmer dad in a small village, a perished son here might have been his right hand. To a small young girl in Asmara, her mother might have been among the dead. One can go on and on as such. Like SAAY’s six degrees of separation analogy, every lost life here will have an exponential effect in Eritrea. This a truly tragic incident. The BBC website on my phone has had this story as the number one story since yesterday. I really now hope the pressure tightens on the gangster regime in Asmara and I hope the perish from within. We, Eritreans have seen way too much loss of life and no Eritrean wants to go to war with another Eritrean. This is exactly why our people are acquiescent even when they know full well that it is their blood earned right to object this brutal regime. I apologize for preaching to the choir here but I just needed to vent.

  • haile

    The calm after the storm…..

    A Picture of Survivors of the boat tragedy off the coast of Lampedusa



    • Papillon

      Dear Haile,

      The spectre of the sadist is still haunting them. None of them is willing to show her or his face to the camera. It is not that they feel guilty for leaving their country, rather, they are petrified by the prospect of putting their loved ones in danger as the sadist can hunt down those who are related to them. I am saddened to my bones. This is too painful to bear.


    • yegermal

      Thank you Haile! A picture is worth a thousand words…and hopefully it will put to rest the doubt of whether the victims were Eritreans.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hi Sal. Gash Saleh,Papillion Haile, and everyone in awate,

    I don’t have much value that I can add about Lampadusa other than what every one has said. My heart aches. Only God knows how I feel.

    On the the topic of related what Ethiopia said recently however, in case you haven’t seen it, this is what PM Hailemariam said today in terms of relations with Eritrea.


    the full interview is here..


    The first five minutes..

  • Godefay

    Hi Yigermal and Papillon,

    In my recent conversation with an Ethiopian government official in Addis, I asked him if it is better for Eritreas and the peace of Ethiopia, if Ethiopian army get rid of PIA. The answer was an emphatic and angry “no”. The senior government official listed a couple of reasons for not entertaining the attack idea. The main one was the long held policy of the government that Eritrean issue should be resolved by Eritreans.

    In hindsight, I agree with all the reasons the official listed to me. The majority of Eritreans in Diaspora are still diehard fans of shaebia. They don’t feel the pain the majority of young Eritrean kids are feeling in the Senai desert, Mediterranean Sea or Atlantic Ocean.

    Just think of it, if people who taste and enjoy the fruits of democracy in the western world support a dictator who kills their brothers and sisters, why would a neighbour feel the pain? The point is I still don’t understand the reason why Diaspora Eritreans do not want their people to be free from a dictator who stole the fruits of their 30+ years struggle to create an independent and prosperous country? Wake up Diaspora Eritrean! Get rid of this idiot! We (Ethiopians and Eritreans) should unite to get rid of animosity and petty squabbles and work for economic development, peace and regional prosperity. That is what counts. War and suspicion made us all poor. If you and I can agree on this, we can change many minds.

    Godefay (Ethiopian)

    • Godefay,

      You are painting all the Diaspora with the same brush. Not all the Diaspora supports the regime in Asmara. You said you met an Ethiopia official and asked whether it would be better for Ethiopia to rid of Issayas. Well! He gave you an evasive answer. Generally, what politicians say in public is not the same as what they discuss behind doors. What they say in public is for the public consumption, to establish and promote a favorable relationship with the public.

      Ethiopia is taking actions in some way or another to hasten the downfall of the regime in Asmara. Ethiopia’s official website, Walt information, has long been publishing statements and information from Eritrean opposition parties. It has also hosted, consulted, and even armed many opposition parties.

      It would not surprise me if Ethiopia was spying into the governments and its supporters activities in order to obtain political and military information. Eritrean government is in no position to mount an attack against the well armed Ethiopian army. Any provocation, even a minor one, can put the regime on its death bed. It’s this provocation, or spark, Ethiopia may be looking forward to –a reason for a regime change-to end the impasse.

    • Nitricc

      ”Get rid of this idiot! We (Ethiopians and Eritreans) should unite to get rid of animosity and petty squabbles and work for economic development, peace and regional prosperity. That is what counts. War and suspicion made us all poor. If you and I can agree on this, we can change many minds.
      Godefay (Ethiopian)”

      first worry not about the idiot. secondly if you need peace get the hell out of Eritrean land. and lastly, there is no we. just get out of Eritrean land. funny how your aid addicted offical would tell you they cannot use force.
      your offical will eat his lunch with out the permtion of the USA let alone fire a bullet.
      now please tell your offical to get out of Eritrean land.

    • yegermal

      1. “Just think of it, if people who taste and enjoy the fruits of democracy in the western world support a dictator who kills their brothers and sisters, why would a neighbour feel the pain?”

      2. “The point is I still don’t understand the reason why Diaspora Eritreans do not want their people to be free from a dictator who stole the fruits of their 30+ years struggle to create an independent and prosperous country?”

      Couldn’t have said it any better!

      On the first point, am sure that our neighbors feel some sort of pain about our predicament, if not for “moral” reasons, like Papillon aptly asserted, for the spillover effect that forces them to clean-up after DIA’s mess, i.e., caring for the large number of refugees that cross their borders illegally. But history teaches us that countries are never compelled to act on moral basis alone, their “interests” take higher priority. United States is a good example. It goes to war only if its interest in a country or region is at risk…Otherwise, its attitude towards hostages of rogue regimes is: “it sucks to be you!”.

      On the second point, it is a million dollar question that boggles our collective minds. Much like insidious “social-engineering” accompanied with “personality-cult” has turned an entire population into subservient robots in North Korean (since 1948), the Eritrean people has undergone a similar transformation since DIA’s advent to the Eritrean quest for independence (circa 1965; hence my adjective for him “LUUKH”). Information coming out of Eritrea describes a people whose culture and social/moral fabric have completely unraveled; a survivalist people that has lost its way and identity. The malaise has spread to the diaspora Eritrean communities, for a complete erosion of anything that used to represent “Eritreaness”. That is the crux of the matter. So where do we go from here? Your guess is as good as mine.

    • TheTruth

      Shaebia wey mot.

  • Papillon

    Dear Ygermal,

    That is a great question. The short answer would be moral imperatives. We are essentially the same people, with a common history and possibly with a common destiny as well. When I say, we are the same people, I am cognizant of the fact that, the mere generalization on my part runs a risk of including other ethnic groups on both nations who don’t share either cultural or historical underpinnings. That said however, our commonality outweighs our differences.

    Sure enough, if the Ethiopian government is to intervene in a bid to remove the regime in Eritrea (as opposed to saying the Eritrean regime), it is expected to have a specific objective. The vital point that needs a heed is, the historical experiences between them where through the years has been marred with suspicion, animosity and power struggle ought to bee seen in isolation if the intended goal is to be solely taken pinned on moral grounds bereft of ulterior motives.

    The other pressing issue is a reality check. That is, if the Ethiopian government can afford to immerse itself in a sovereign nation where the outcome can only be guessed at best. First of all, as you have aptly pointed it out, it would be counter-intuitive for them to get involved when they are trying to get their feet off the dread of poverty. Second, the credibility and competence of the Eritrean Opposition parties doesn’t seem to be a power they can bet their energy and resources on. Third and the most potent scenario is, a potentially powerful segment can come out from the regime’s enclaves (mostly bihere Tigrinya who are holding on to Isaias for ethnic and religious affinity) that can hold off the Ethiopian onslaught by mobilizing people under the banner of “Fear of the Unknown.”


    • Horizon

      Dear Papillon,

      I am among the people who are against Ethiopian incursion in to Eritrea to depose the regime. I am opposed to any war and I hate seeing young people die and the destruction of properties earned with sweat and blood of the people. I would rather give a chance first to peaceful resolution of conflicts, if it is possible. War should be the last and unavoidable step towards resolving differences, unless of course war is forced upon a country by a foreign power.
      The contention and distrust between the two people, and especially on the Eritrean side is still strong, and I am afraid that any Ethiopian involvement in Eritrean affairs could drive Eritreans in to DIA’s camp. At this point in time, when there is no strong and united opposition and the Eritrean armed forces seem divided in to secondary regional powers in the face of an aging dictator, filling the void in power that would be created after the fall of IA to stabilize the country would not be an easy matter. There is a danger that this could lead to a civil war and possible disintegration of Eritrea. Therefore, the Ethiopian card is not an easy game to play, which means that at the end of the day, Eritreans should unite and solve their problems themselves.
      Economic development seen in Ethiopia over the last decade is an important factor, which will not allow Ethiopia to engage herself in war that will stall all the developmental endeavors the country has undertaken. Ethiopia would not want to squander this unexpected economic miracle, small for many and yet enormous for a third world country like Ethiopia.
      In addition, we should not forget the Egyptian factor. Ethiopia has strong enemies like Egypt that overtly and covertly entertain war against the country, not only today, but also over the past centuries, and Egypt does not seem to change her mind. Ethiopia therefore does not want to give the pretext to Eritrea to stand on the side of Ethiopia’s enemies in times of crisis.
      Finally, Eritreans themselves should solve Eritrean problem. Nobody can give freedom on a platter to anybody. It should be won by the united action of the Eritrean people, if it is going to have any meaning. Otherwise, a third party in an extremely divided Eritrean society is a recipe for disaster. The Ethiopia factor had united Eritreans in the past for the wrong cause (remember Gedli). This time too it will be no different.

    • yegermal


      Thank you for your consistently respectful and thoughtful replies. I share Horizon’s sentiments about Ethiopia’s intervention and will not bore you with repetition:).

      Horizon, thank you for your pointed rebuttal and for allowing me to take a free ride on it:).

    • T.Kifle

      Selamat Papilon,

      It nice to see you here again after a long long time. I am prompted to write this thread by your assertions on why the Ethiopian gov. should/n’t intervene in deposing DIA.
      It’s obvious that peace dividend between the two countries would benefit us all in many ways. It’s also clear beyond any doubt that peace would prevail when the source of instability is removed once and for all. Now the question becomes a mere technicality of how and by whom.

      If at all Ethiopia is going to intervene, it will be based on the threats DIA would directly or otherwise pose to its sovereignty. It could and should help Eritreans in doing their fight but substituting them in any conceivable way is unacceptable.The reasons could be:
      1. Ethiopia is not willing to rescue Eritrea at the cost of its human and meagre material resources. It is a responsibility beyond which it willingly chooses to shoulder.
      2. Eritreans didn’t ask for it. Though dictatorship is bad, they assert, it ain’t as bad as the intervention of Ethiopia. Many of them prefer dying with “dignity and pride” than being rescued by Ethiopia – a country they despise to the core.

      So DIA will be around for as long as the Eritrean defence forces and/or God allow him to be provided that he doesn’t provoke Ethiopia.

      • Papillon

        Selam T. Kifle,

        It is great to read you after a long while. Please forgive me if I sound a bit blunt but I seem to sense resentment in the reasonings you laid out. The working, mobilizing and purpose-driven motto might have been the banner which reads: “Our Number One and Only Enemy is Poverty” where it as well defines the legacy of the late Prime Minister (may his soul rest in peace). That as it may however, the primary menace determined to stall and frustrate Ethiopia’s ambitious leap-of-steps has all along been Isaias himself. If the resources including human capital are mobilized to fight the specter of poverty, what is the hung up to equally mobilize to get rid of Isaias?

        To be more precise, if again, Isaias is posing a direct threat to the historic endeavours Ethiopia is undertaking, what is the hold up in getting rid of him? When the question is valid and pressing, why would Ethiopia need an invitation from the stakeholders in a bid to intervene? Containing Isaias, handling Isaias, appeasing Isaias have been tried as solutions for challenging problems of the same nature but in different forms. Simply because, flesh eating bacteria doesn’t go away by cutting off the very part of the body the bacteria is feeding on. The solution is in getting rid of the bacteria. Needless to say, that is the hue of RealPolitik. If however, the Ethiopian government entertains the notion of keeping Isaias intact by getting him wasted slowly, the expense will be the suffering of the Eritrean people where the moral dimension is overlooked on Ethiopia’s part.


  • haile


    Despite the regime operatives shameful tactics of creating confusion, eye witness accounts are coming out of Italy claiming that both ships that run into accident this week were almost entirely carrying ERITREANS. Please listen to the latest from VOA:


    In a related and equally shameful act, the regime’s FM addressed the UN migration & devt. discussion by sending condolences to “families of Migrants” refusing to address them as Eritreans, and complained to the panel that the banning of the 2% was unfair (very insensitive and bestial in nature).


    Hi papillon,

    I am more of the view that Ethio-Eritrea misunderstandings has its own separate dynamics that requires a separate workable approaches. If you assess that the diaspora Eritreans are the most suspicious, it may well be the case but the silence of the vast majority of them and blindly supporting it (by some) is also responsible for enabling the regime to have exposed us to these tragedies that will only get worse from here on. So, it is important to encourage the diaspora to challenge the regime and calling for Ethiopian intervention my have little currency as you stated. The main objective should be to encourage peace and rule of law among the fraternal peoples of ethio-eritrea and we do our own homework.

    This topic may also, understandably, take away the focus – although I can appreciate the difficult experiences that people are going through right now.


  • Papillon

    Often times unpopular options are the only possible solutions to unyielding problems. I am sure most of you will not receive it lightly including Haile the Great. I say, the only viable option is for the Ethiopian government to intervene and strike the PFDJ regime out. Lock, stock and barrel. Simply because, twenty years is far too long for the Opposition to man-up instead it has unleashed its energy on disunity, trivialities marinated with a chronic lack of political will. The academics, professionals and the so called pressure-groups as well are too timid and confused to make their minds up where the sense of urgency loses its meaning. Moreover, the world at large seems to have lost its sympathy on us when a new reality in the twenty first century sweeps the pillars of tyranny as the oppressed take it to the streets where the astounding phenomena is dubbed Revolution-in-Spring. As it happens however and for a reason that is hard to fathom, the Eritrean people seem to be an exception to the rule.

    Years ago, the sadist leader in a supposed double-speak said that, HIV-AIDS is a national security issue for a country with a relatively small population such as Eritrea. Death however, is not only taking away the people who are traversing the high seas and the arid deserts, people inside the country as well are dead when they are still alive. Simply because, the worst kind of death is when one dies when one is still alive. Hopelessness has become the defining reality of the people particularly the younger generation and it is wasting them in a silent death. But of course, the sadist leader will not see the hopelessness, the death in the high seas and on the arid desert as a national security issue, simply because the double-talk was a political expediency at its best. Given the grim reality, the reality that has already broken our hearts can potentially happen again as long as the main cause is not rooted out in its entirety. And the only force that can make it happen is the Ethiopian government.

    • yegermal


      I see your point, but I disagree. We’d be trading a problem for another, from the pot to the frying pan. Who can forget EPLF and TPLF came from the same political fabric? True, the Eritrean people is frustratingly inert at this very moment but there are many indications that the tipping point is near inside Eritrea. Nothing is permanent neither are DIA and his bestial enablers. We shall overcome without resorting to extreme measures which for sure will reverse Eritrean independence.

      • Papillon

        Dear Ygermal,

        I respectfully disagree. If they (EPLF and TPLF) are cut from the same cloth, we would see, a replica of Era-Ero, indefinite suspension of the Constitution, total monopoly of the economy by the ruling regime inter alia in Ethiopia. But evidently to argue that the two erstwhile Fronts are siamese twins is tantamount to comparing an onion with an orange. The argument or should I say the discourse at hand can potentially sway its intended theme where the need for an external intervention at this critical juncture is not a luxury but a necessity as we are racing against time, a time that is too consumed with annihilating a generation. The rest (read: post-tyranny Eritrea) can not be uglier than what the nation is going through at this moment in time.


        • Nitricc

          What is it about good writers and bone-headlines? I am sorry but there are very few people who are good writers with a common sense. But many of them are bone heads.
          What is it? Papillon thinks threr is a constitution in Ethiopia. Well ask Siye Abraha the disgraceful of all the time he will tell you. I hope you don’t talk about something you don’t know.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Hi Papilon and yegermal.
          Being cautious in not to be that insensitive, i want to remind you the sacrifices paid by the majority of ethiopians in shaping tplf from beginning upto now. As yigermal pointed out they resembled in the beginning at least, looking back 1991-1998 is a simple proof. One can imagine how eplf could be difficult to what it Calls enemy when one sees what it deos to what it Calls its owns.

    • haile

      Selamat Papillon

      …hold it, hold it… should read excluding Haile the great! 🙂

      Why would Haile think it to be unworkable plan then? Here goes:

      1 – It would be the mother of all face saving for the regime and elongation of the period of the suffering of the Eritrean people. Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia back in 2006 resuscitated decades old hostility between both peoples and gave political capital to al-shabab. Ethio-Eritrea have unresolved conflict that is used as a pretext to do have has lead to the current tragedy. Not recommended.

      2 – The regional power balance has shifted following Ethiopia’s incursions last March 2012. It deliberately announced it to the world, then stated that Eritrea was incapable of retaliating, then went in again the following few days to prove its assertions. IA ducked in and finally has now around to address Ethiopia as “goblel” and is playing solo on regional integration with his imaginary friends in the region. Ethiopia has since scaled down its engagement politically as the regime had already capitulated. In fact, it made rather telling observation after the Jan.21 events:)

      3 – The Eritrean issue is now officially part of UN mandated process via UNSCR on HR, as a nation and people under horrendous humanitarian perils, there is more than enough international political capital to stand against their tormentors. The whole world agrees that something must be done.

      4 – The Ethiopian card was one of the most disastrous undertakings, in my opinion, that has cost a hell of valuable opportunities in the past.

      So, here is how Haile sees it: Eritreans at home and abroad bear the full responsibility of charting their future and deciding whether to attempt to overthrow the half dead regime or become accustomed to horrors worse than the current one. The regime has no means, political or economic, to hang around much longer. And it is our country and our problems, so should the solutions too.


      • haile

        … pretext to do what has led…
        … has now come around

        • Papillon

          Dear Haile,

          I see it differently. It would be a bit of a stretch to compare Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia and its would be involvement in Eritrea. With out further ado, one can infer the differences in reason by looking at the historical experience of Ethiopia with respect to Somalia and Eritrea. Furthermore, your number two reasoning seems to dilute number one. If the Eritrean people are going to be enraged by Ethiopia’s involvement, why didn’t that happen when Ethiopian troops penetrated deep inside Eritrea? To the contrary, the sadist regime didn’t give it much of a publicity for fear that the people may entertain the possibility of having Ethiopia to take the regime out. And of course for fear that, people may see the fact that its military prowess has all along been a bogus and a sham as well. As I see it, Ethiopia’s intervention is getting a mixed reception laced with suspicion here in diaspora as opposed to inside Eritrea where the burnt is acutely felt inside the country.

          As for the seriousness of the UNSCR on HR, what is it that they can possibly do to the regime? Economic sanctions*? That of course will cause more harm to the already down trodden people but the regime will keep on traumatizing the people till the last soul is carried away in a body-bag in the shores of an island.

          *Zimbabwe is case in point where Mugabe is still kicking.


          • yegermal


            Question. What is in it for Ethiopia to decide to put its citizens (read military) in harm’s way and possibly slow down its much touted economic and development progress? Mind you, with the exception of the refugee influx, the current Eritrean status quo has not affected Ethiopia in any significant way.

          • yegermal


            “As I see it, Ethiopia’s intervention is getting a mixed reception laced with suspicion here in diaspora as opposed to inside Eritrea where the burnt is acutely felt inside the country. ”

            Again, I vehemently disagree. I personally have been talking with a several people that came recently to the US from Eritrea and although all are frustrated with DIA’s reign most do not want Ethiopian intervention. According to them , the reason why the Eritrean people is not revolting is the fear that there is no other organized and strong group that can replace DIA regime and protect Eritrea from Ethiopian invasion. I am sorry , but the cursory data I collected does not indicate the Eritrean people would welcome Ethiopia’s intervention anytime soon. I agree with you that whatever comes next cannot be as bad as what we have now. But the Eritrean psyche has not reached the point where it can justify intervention.

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Hi Haile.

        All your reasonings falls short in explaining why Eth gov. dont involve direct military involvemnt to aust pfdj. But all of us agree that it is disasterous as you have said it laoud and clear.

        1) 2006 Somalia was more thrate to ethiopia due to pfdj. Ethiopia had to choose to fight pfdj directly or Proxy. Whether we like it or not the 2006 somali ICU is more of the internaitonal problem than only Ethiopians. But the disaster calculated by the ruling party tplf out weighed thus Proxy war was choosen.

        2) ICU was more disorganize, weak in military, not recognized by the international community, and enemy of the so called international community. Ethiopia have used as little force as possible to disarm ICU while keeping en eye of pfdj With the best of its forces incase isaias wages all out war. By definition he can start war any time.

        3) And the war was far away from what tplf calls home. What ever the war brings could be Limited to slodiers lives and off course economical burden.

        4) Eritrean army was/is well organized, mechanized, if by some accident gets motivated then isayas who tried to isolate tplf from the rest of Ethiopia could use this military to damage tigray more specific mekele. He did it before to show his potential how far he can go. So the last thing tplf wants is to let the eritrean military to be motivated for the wrong reason.

        6) If ethiopia has to involve militarily, it has to be through helping armed struggel of eritreans. And this will be done if only Ethiopia gets its best interest and every one knows ethiopias best interest would be served by oppostions which are ready to compromise for Peace and prosperity. Compromises must be reached concerning ‘ the rights of the ethnic Groups divided by the ‘new’ border, Badme and sea Access, arming opposition Groups etc etc.

    • Kidane Berhe

      Where did you get twenty years of opposition? hmmm… From what I gather, this article is meant for Eritreans and friends to pay tribute to all those perished and yours is an unwelcome distraction.

  • haile

    It is sad that the majority of the victims were reported to be in their 20s! Most born in and around Eritrea’s Independence. IMO the few (2 or 3) individuals who are spewing profanity could either be traumatized individuals by this whole incident, agent-provocateurs (no way we can verify they are indeed Eritreans let alone of certain political strip) or plain ignoramus of the lowest order.

    Things that caught my eyes today:

    – Lampedusa boat disaster: underwater footage released of sunken vessel


    “Rough seas on Friday prevented divers from recovering bodies believed to be trapped in the wreck of the boat, which lies on the seabed at a depth of 130ft.
    “At one point there were five fishing boats at the same time, each one with their decks piled with corpses,” said Pietro Bartolo, a doctor helping with the rescue effort.
    “Seeing the bodies of the children was a tragedy. We have run out of coffins. In many years of work here, I have never seen anything like this.”

    The world community also shares its fair part of responsibility for not assisting the Eritrean people to make a just stand against a brutal regime whose activities have been officially documented and are now part of formal knowledge of world leaders. Overthrowing the regime is logistically and financially feasible, and it is not like the basic spring boarding is not already on the ground. Why is the world looking the other way?

    Let me close by what I inked yesterday one more time:

    “And finally, at the end of a day that will live for eternity in the annals of the history of the “Lost Years Of Eritreans”, the dead have done what the colluding, terrified or silent couldn’t do. Lampedusa mayor Giusi Nicolini said “These bodies are all speaking. We need to stop this” Indeed, these bodies managed, what the living failed to achieve!




    • saay

      Selamat awatistas:

      Eri-TV found its mouth, but it just can’t spit out the words. It is reporting on the “illegal African immigrants” who are said to be “citizens of the Horn of Africa.” Not a single Italian, who is too busy mourning the dead, would dare call them “illegal immigrants” today, but that is enda hgdef for you.

      Video at our Merhaba/Jebena page. Link here:


      Meanwhile, there have already been two reports on two Eritrean survivors: a young man who was rescued and identified himself as Eritrean and told the Italian rescuers to (a) keep searching and (b) “God bless you!”:


      and a lady named Kibrat who was presumed dead but alive, and rushed to the hospital.



      • yegermal


        They found their mouth alright and predictably are using it to spew imbecility and demonstrate their disjointed alternate reality in the process.

      • haile

        Selamat saay, yegermal and all;

        Well, the regime may be setting out to use its last fuel, for electricity for cement production, for villas to be sold in euros to diaspora! Then switched to ports and now potholes. It reminds one about the guy who forgot to tun up to his wedding (read fate). The world is talking however, and talking continues…

        Here the latest video that gives close capture of faces that Teweldino might like to spend some time looking real close…



        • saay

          Selamat Haile and Awatistas:

          “Today is a sad day. Our hearts feel empty. Schools are closed, shops are closed.”

          That’s what a head of state would say to console his people. But as the Arabs say “faqd alsheyi LayuiEti”: he who has nothing can give nothing.

          So it was the ordinary Italians in Lampedusa who said the words quoted above. Let’s hope Lampedusa is to Isaias what the Wollo famine was to Haile Selasse: the tipping point. Let’s dare more than hope.



          • yegermal


            The “Wollo factor” was backed by a strong “intellectual/student” movement and powerful laments by great artists like Afwerki Tekle who engraved the famine on his canvas depicting a pregnant woman with a skeleton fetus in her womb. I am afraid the same ingredients are not present in the Eritrean case.

    • yegermal

      “Bhkyatey Nbeatey Awuyatey Zeysimae
      Meadi Ghezane B’Guanot Kbilae
      Hidmona Tefyu….
      Zeywudae Hilmi, Zeywegih Leiti
      Haghay B’Zey Tsehay , Bizey May Kiremti
      Ayharis Aykutkut Wetru Nab Measerti”

      Visionary Eritrean Yemane Barya’s Classic Song “Merietey” …quite appropriate for this desperate occasion


  • Nitricc

    Reading some of you, one will think you will live for ever. We all going to die, aren’t we?
    People die all the time. I. This case adult people took adult decision and the out come was not good. Take it easy, it is life, don’t take it for grant. You get hit by the bus tonight driving home.
    If you are that concerned and your heart is bleeding what are you doing this does not happen again?
    I ask you What are you doing?
    Serray what are you doing?
    Let me give you hint,
    Les talking more doing will do

    • haqi

      what a weirdo like his cult leader. good god, we are cursed to have people like you call your self Eritrean.

      mihret yewridelka tsulul

      • Nitricc

        Haqi is not true. I did not chose Eritrea, Eritrea choosed me.
        You must be close to say hi to your creator, you seem nervous with the subject of death. Again, no one will live forever. So, go chill and take your anti chollostrol medication or is it the high blood presure? Go bed.

        • haqi

          nitricc arawit

          you’re nothing but an attention seeking who^^%%$re, who will say and do anything in defense of the self elected cult leader.

          death is natural hence I have nothing to fear unless I spent my life being evil, and cruel like you and your cult leader. now go pray to you satanic demigod

  • Two Months ago, like most, I wrote the Tribute to the Eritrean drowned precious ,youth , who lost their lives, struggling to reach the shores of land of freedom, dignity and peace and not for craved Paradise lying off the shores of the more prosperous Northern Hemisphere. Yesterday, tens Eritrean have faced their death, as the search continues, drowned in desperate attempts to live life of basic normalcy ,running way from the land hell in the earth and running for their life ,to live another day to the Shores of freedom and dignity of the Northern Hemisphere. By way of empathy, I reoffer with the simple words to the afresh perished Eritrean’s souls the same tribute that I once wrote their peers only two months ago; that I would continue to offer to the hundreds of thousands of wretched deprived Eritrean human souls wandering in their search of their legitimate Divine right of a life in Dignity. This, as one never stops crying for a lost humanity’s, a sad aspect of this event is it’s repetition and will continue to repeat itself and as along the devil is ruling Eritrea . The stronger of the survivors will be interned, processed, and some might be repatriated to their country.
    The sources of all our problem DIA, whom he have no atom of kindness, compassion and empathy for Eritrean people and only with contempt and despise of his hate of Eritrean people clearly being manifested again and again. Under PFDJ rule, insecurity and poverty increased. Eritreans have nothing to celebrate for. Eritreans are truly disenchanted and angry. Eritrea is bankrupt in ever ward of it.

    A Tribute to the Drowned young Eritrean in a Desperate Quest for freedom and Dignified Life

    As we all know someone related to us and often reading and watching the news Drowned young Eritreans, it is heart wrenching witnessing live another episode after another wave after wave death after death, a recurring sad tragedy off the Italian coasts of scenes of recuperation of the dead corpses of so many youth drowned Eritreans and other nationality from closer Southern Hemisphere countries trying to smuggle their way to Italy after long journey escaping hell on earth of DIA Eritrea. So many of those Eritreans desperate flocking to closer European shores in desperate attempts to illegally enter promised lands of richer countries in search of better freedom and dignified life are faced with the high risk of prospects of death in desert and riding the waves of open-sea’s on way below grade floating boats, sadly and inhumanly crammed like tightly like sardines in most inhospitable sanitary and inhumane high-risk traveling conditions.
    Escaping the spirals of oppression and subjection of DIA regime with no hope and aspiration with abject poverty; ravaging security nightmares, and a desire to itch a living to support beloved parents, children, espouses and kin condemned to eternal life of oppressions, poverty, servitude, malnutrition and unspeakable life of abject material deprivation, death yes death becomes a negligible token of inconvenience, the smallest price one could pay in the quest for deliverance of self and beloved souls.
    A day should be observed across Eritrean Diaspora around the globe every year marked the “Desperate Eritrean Day,” as a tribute to those very brave souls, drowned Eritreans in search of Freedom and Dignified life ,a deliverance; a better life befitting God’s vicegerents, mortals created in the image of the divinity deserving the dignity of all men created equal.
    Perceived as outlaws in the convenience of the legalistic jargons of the economically prosperous; socially advanced and perennially politically ever stable nations of the Rich North, the arduous path full of thorn that the drowned our beloved brothers and sisters youthful Eritreans track to attain deliverance is synonymous with the savior’s dolorosa as the weight of the cross resembles in the untold sufferings and loss of prospects that’s of the nightmare and horrors of an ‘Eritrean s journey in quest of deliverance.
    Rightly did the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, to lay a wreath and offer a prayer two month ago at Lampedusa, Italy, in commemoration of the drowned young people trying to enter Italy, the unknown soldiers, in their desperate bid to get their just share of what Divinity primordially decreed of human dignity and security.

  • Teweldino

    First of all, we don’t know that these are all Eritreans. We don’t even know if any of them are Eritreans. It is common knowledge that Ethiopians, Sudanese, Ugandans, Kenyans and many others claim to be Eritrean because that is the fastest way to get asylum since the West is trying to empty Eritrea of its young population. SO we just don’t know how many are Eritreans, if any.

    Secondly, I am curious why those anti-Eritrea forces and Tigrayns who pretend to be Eritreans (Serray, Papillon, haile…etc) come out of the wood work whenever there is bad news about Eritrea (manufactured bad news or otherwise).

    It’s astounding!

    • Insensitive and disgusting to say the least. Go and check out yourself….hummmm.

      • TheTruth

        Well he’s right. There is no doubt Eritreans perished this week. Even one is too many but let’s be honest with ourselves and come clean that Ethiopians and other nationalities for years have claimed to be Eritreans to acquire asylum. Why can’t an investigation be conducted and we can wait and see as to the identify of the victims and give their families the piece of mind they deserve?

    • haile


      How do you know that your father actually your father. Seriously, did you have DNA test done to verify? Is he really your father? Don’t tell me mommy said so! I think you have no clue, have you? Is your real father the one you call my father or someone else? If the latter, do you think they may not even be Eritrean because you wouldn’t know any way? Teweldino, who is your father? Don’t give me any guy whom you thought was your father because mommy said so? Who is he? Have you ever even tried to check?

    • yegermal


      This kind of comment can only come from someone that has no family left behind in Eritrea. Otherwise, the rest of us are dreading the news and are bracing for the worst. We’ve been there been and we wonder who in our small communities is the victim this time around. Death and misfortune know no borders and none of us is immune to them. Humble down and let your humane side(the crumb-size of it that may have escaped DIA’s indoctrination)shine during this incredibly sad week of our existence as people.

    • saay

      Selamat Teweldino:

      I am sure you are familiar with the phenomenon of “six degrees of separation.” It says that you, Teweldino, are six handshakes away from anybody else in this planet. If I can pick a random person in China, you are connected to him, at most, by six steps: you know somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody… six steps and you in China. If you can get to the entire world population in six steps, this means you can probably get connected to every Eritrean in 2 or 3. (As a nodes designer if you don’t believe me.) This means that in less than a week, you will know that you know of somebody who knows of one of the victims in Lampedusa. Do come back then and tell us, nope, that’s not true.*


      * Unless, of course, you are one of the Isaiasists who has been told “ab Hagosomn Hazenomn aytsatefu.” Then, well, all that means is you chose not to know.

    • jonas

      You are right ,how do we know they were all Eriteans. They could be Norwegians, Swedish or Germans. Ethiopians want to leave Ethiopia but are not as desperate to risk their lives, Ugandans don’t resemble Eritreans, Kenyans don’t traditionally like to leave their country. Whom are we left with?

      • should they be all Eritreans to grief? Absurd from the clone of PFDJ.

      • TheTruth

        Are you serious? Ethiopians are fleeing to Yemen in the tens of thousands and enduring the same painstaking voyage. They are also fleeing to the Sinai and Libya. There is no arguing that.

        • Are you kidding! Are you saying these are Ethiopians and there are no Eritreans in this tragedy? Of course in your view, if they don’t support the monoster of the nation, they are not Eritreans. You scared him to the hell. Isn’t it…..damn. Get courage to protect the victim….if not look for a psychological treatment.

    • sami

      are u stupid…? the news is all over the world. what proof you want ? to bring you their dead body? wake up and smell coffee. and pray for the lost soul once to rest in peace.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      The dia’s sons came in their best panic form when the honor of their leader is tarnished beyond repair. Now millions mourne in the world for the tragedy of Lampedusa regardless the origine of the lost ones. Some even go further in blamming the Europeans Obsession in more protecting their border and do little in checking their sea for reaching out the boat migrants in case of such catastrophee. But the dictator sons are worried in case the rest of the world Connects the Death of the immigrants with the alpha and omega of Eritrea dictator isaias. Today their daily News Source was so out of balance so it managed at last a couple of News about asmara’s street cleaning campaign. Who knows what they are thinking! May be they are thinking one stape Ahead to make asmara’s People occupied in one of the never ending campaigns. One of these days the silent majority including all sorts of professions comes out leaving their ‘equipments’ at home and say ‘mr president! enough enough!’ And the sons of the dia are terribly nervous when the silent People are on their own. They are secured when People are out in campaign be it asphalt cleaning or making ponds with uknowns where everybody is afraid of everybody. Who knows (their pray) tomorrow might brings 3rd wrold war or any war for that matter. In the mean time Nitric, meron and the likes are out in the darkness and say what ever comes to their mind. Right now their are in sorrow for the wrong reason. They too mourn ‘why eritreans why, from all boat migrants, why! Why Our leader’s name should be Connected with News like boat migrants when there are a lot of nations to choose from’.

    • Crocus

      All the young and unfortunate souls who perished at sea, may they rest in peace. They are with their maker. We mourn the Living Dead! You, the Living Dead, are in denial. It is a manifestation of a neurotic condition, you must know. Face the facts! You can delude yourself all you want, but facts are facts.

      Which brings me to comments made above – whether the Ethiopians should intervene and depose the tyrant. At the outset, let me make it clear that I trust that Ethiopians know deep down that it would not be neither wise nor profitable to invade Eritrea and remove the regime. I say that not because it cannot be done successfully, or that there is no potential dividend in doing so, but because Ethiopians know the greater problem is not DIA, but Eritreans themselves. The writer of the above comment and his ilk are the best argument for not invading Eritrea. Many here believe that if somehow DIA disappears Eritrea will be rid of its ailment. That is a foolish thought. The greater problem is the large contingent of callous, selfish and delusional Eritreans who support the regime.

      I have no doubt that the Eritrean regime is so weak on many levels that an Ethiopian invasion can easily knock down the tyrant. But, doing so is fraught with dreadful uncertainties. The “big if” will be what next? It has been shown repeatedly on the world’s stage, including from the Eritrean experience and Egypt’s current circumstances, that wining independence or removing a regime is not nearly as difficult as ensuring a stable successful transition. Bad as things are in Eritrea now, Ethiopians know it is preferable to have a mad man in power than to manage the aftermath of a hornet’s nest gone awry. That is why Ethiopians would wisely not want to jump into a fray. Eritrea after DIA is an unknown quantity. Thinking of the mindless intoxicated regime supporters, mostly in the diaspora, should give you concern. Why would Ethiopians risk being scapegoat for tribulations that might befall Eritrea? Have not they already been blamed for every thing under the sun that went bad for Eritrea?

      I want to reiterate: the greater problem of Eritrea is NOT DIA. It is his mindless boot-lickers. That is one nightmare that should keep every Eritrean awake all night long. DIA will be gone soon. Count the days. But I am increasingly vexed of what the transition will be like. I do not see any movement in the Eritrean psyche to avert a looming disaster. I am afraid it will be a greater disaster unless the issue is confronted and openly discussed. It seems everyone is afraid to go there.

      I hope I am wrong, and I pray my fears are not grounded in reality. But it is not wrong to err on the side of caution. For the sake of the tender souls that continue to be lost Eritreans need to confront their demons, and soon. The mother of all wars is the war against oneself.

  • belay

    I don’t know how to make sense out of this senseles people in power.How is it even difficult for them to say they were sorry for what happen? People in Lambadusa are mourning. People in the whole world who saw the death of the young men are mourning. The pfdj supporters who think the way think was wrong.The young men were all forced to their death.How is one expected to be slave for ever and their mothers and fathers can’t  even afford to have bread and water.To be slave for the betterment of your people is one thing but this joke happening to the young in Eritrea doesn’t give sense at all. How are their parents going to cope?God help them.

  • Ambassador

    My heart is bleeding 🙁 way yehwatey!

  • Serray

    Thanks Awate Team,

    There is nothing about our culture that forbids us to mourn our dead. The silence of the regime every time this kind of catastrophe happen shows it is the cause of it all. Only a murderer ignores its victims to avoid bringing attention to itself. The regime also ignores these tragedies to stop the news from reaching the loved ones all at once…grieving families of this size of victims can do damage in their grief. The drip, drip, and confusing way the information reaches the loved ones helps the regime by dissipate and fragment the response to the tragedy. By ignoring the news, the regime tries to side step not only the blame for causing the deaths, but also, and most importantly, its responsibility as a government for breaking the news to the relatives and loved ones. It is this second role that the regime consciously and almost cannibalistically tries to dodge…and that is where we should put our energy to counteract.

    Instead of arguing with the cannolis and little ghetto brats, we should put all our efforts to getting the names and identifies of the victims and publish them so their loved ones grieve them in time and, hopefully, demand justice for them and save the ones planning to take the same dangerous journey.

    Nothing lasts forever and the regime that is causing this pain will pass. If ghedli gave us this this regime, imagine what awaits our nation if these cannibals are allowed to continue to feed on our children, our future, until nothing but the “children of the corn” are left.

    • Zegeremo

      Well said!

    • Serray

      Here is a link to an article that gives a little more detail on how our people died. The title of the article is:

      “Italy mourns 300 dead in Lampedusa migrant boat tragedy”


      You want to ask, how come the country from where most of the victims come from is not mourning? The answer is in the silence.

      • saay

        Selam Serray:

        In any normal country, if a tragedy of this proportion strikes, the Heads of State:

        * cancel their trip and return home to console their people;
        * give a televised speech
        * meet with grieving families

        Not in abnormal Eritrea. Here we have the entire regime apparatus playing dead again. Nothing from the state media, nothing from its kiddie organizations (nothing from YPFDJ, nothing from NUEYS, the supposedly “independent” youth organizations), nothing from the “hagerawian” websites; nothing from the Eritrean embassy in Italy, nothing from the organization that was claiming it was not consulted as a “stakeholder” when the Human Rights Rapporteur prepared her report (that would be the Organization of Eritrean Americans.) If Isaias Afwerki had been hit by a bus when he was in New York City, all these groups would have sprung to action to sign a petition to investigate the cause of the accident and how the bus driver should be punished and the bus company should compensate Eritrea. That tells you all you need to know about their priorities.

        The pope called the world indifference a disagrace, an indifference he has already had an impact in changing. The mayor of the little town was in tears. But back in Eritrea and the satellite states the regime has created in the Diaspora, it is business as usual.


        • Tesfamariam


          so true

        • haile

          Selamat saay and serray,

          True say and here is a general knowledge question:

          “Our concern is Italy not welcoming those who came as asylum seekers,” Somali presidential spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said. In contrast, the Eritrean Ambassador to Israel Tekeste T/Mariam recently held interview with Radio Mekhete Dallas where he said “One of the issues himself and his regime opposed and lobbied hard against in Israel was the issuance of work permits to Eritrean refugees.” This he said “encouraged mass migrations from Eritrea.” Indeed, what he was aiming at was the exact opposite of what the Somalian government wished for its people, betterment in their lives as they settle into new life. Instead, the Eritrean regime wished the Eritrean migrants to be exposed to be afflicted by poverty and be exposed to all the attendant ills of such misery.

          Now, considering that such is the hatrade with which this “entity” that we refer to as a regime acts against Eritreans, what would be appropriate term to describe it as an Eritrea:

          – Government (the obvious problem being such would be an affront to others that go by that term)

          – Regime (Just for the reason that it is holding control of the state’s governing structures by force)

          – Enemy (with the intention of reflecting its true nature as portrayed here and throughout its miserable existence)

          I am not hoping that its naming would change anything on the ground, but rather trying to have small talk as is done traditionally in enda hazen gatherings at home.


          • saay

            Selamat Haile, Emma, Ghezae:

            Haile, we struggle with this at awate.com and this is the (imperfect) solution we have reached:

            In Gedab News, we refer to the tyrant by his full name and title (President Isaias Afwerki, with emphasis on consistent spelling of his name the way he writes it) and we refer to the mafia cartel he presides over as “government.” The logic being that any adjective would slant the news and contribute to its being discounted by our readers, particularly readers (academics, researchers) who use Gedab News for reference.

            Everywhere, content is opinion-driven, and we try to use the word “regime” because the common definition of regime is “authoritarian/dictatorial government.” But that is imperfect because we are still talking about “government.” The closest approximation is a cult: a cult of Isaias. Cults include (a) fanatical followers of one man and his “sayings” which the followers (mostly Diaspora Eritreans) consider profound but is gibberish to the rest of the world and (b) prisoners/hostages who can’t get out (which would be the rest of the country including most of the “government”.) There is no dignified exit but escape from, or death within, a cult.

            Emma, if you were creating a hierarchy of who is responsible for the tragic death of our compatriots, how would you rank it?

            Ghezae, yep, Selam Kidane is a wordsmith, specially when she is animated. That is a succinct description of our Eritrea now. When I contemplate the young dying, and the older (once young, once vibrant) observing their death in paralysis, and how this tragedy will recede to the background like other even bigger tragedies, I am reminded of an Eritrean folk song which has this line: “itom zelewu, zeymotu ymeslu; itom zmotu, zeyneberu ymeslu….”


          • Saay,

            In my view there is no hierarchy as to the responsibility of the tragedy. There is only one and only one culprit to this continuous tragedy of our youth….and that is the regime and his followers. As to the inability to do something to stop it (a) our intellectuals —couldn’t use their intellectual leverage to act diplomatically in the international arena to expose the regime. They failed to be the engine of the opposition camp. (b)The oppositions who are retarded with “dekenet nay Hassab” and lack of organizational skills couldn’t find a wing to take off from the ground.(c) The general public humiliated by the regime couldn’t extricate themselves from the fear factor that haunts them daily. Am I clear to you now?


          • yegermal

            I have been calling it an “chekan guana” for over 10 years now….Many dismissed my assertion that Eritrea is being ruled not by a dictator but my a cruel “guana” with extreme hatred for the Eritrean people and with his sole mission in life to humiliate us and undoing our hard -earned independence from Ethiopia. Now that DIA has committed every imaginable atrocity against our people, many are reaching the same conclusion, albeit too late. DIA’s circles are already parroting “union” of all horn Africa countries as the best solution for Eritrea. Infuriating! As if they didn’t blast our ears with “final and binding” for the past freaking 13 years! The only way we can save our people and Nation is by exposing DIA and his cronies for what they are, CHEKANAT GUANOT LUUKAT!

        • Selam Saay & Serray,

          There is a reason why our youth (brothers and sisters) are risking everything to escape. It is because the regime considered them as disposable human being for his project anywhere inside and outside Eritrea. The regime as evil as it is, the saddest part is the inability of our people in the diaspora who are utterly failed to do something about this continuous tragedy. Mourning, shocking, and outraging is not enough. Owning the courage to fight and to find an end to such tragedy was the challenge in front of all of us everyday. We can’t prevail so far, as we are debating non-burning issues in many instances in our forum.We need “kelassay” to redirect our conversations and debates strictly focused on issues that speeds the fall of the regime – the cause of all this tragedy.

          May their souls rest in peace and may GOD give strength to their families.


        • yegermal

          DIA has no respect for the lives of Eritreans. He never did , he never will. Therefore, I have no expectation of him. What makes me sad and puzzled is the moral decay of his diaspora supporters. Not only they don’t show remorse for the misfortune befalling the Eritrean refugees, but have the indecency to deride and disown the victims. It’s just hard to fathom the extent they will go to protect a psychopath. And yes, even me that has given up on these humanoid am thoroughly surprised by their callousness! GOD deliver us from these aberrants.

        • TheTruth

          The Eritrean Embassy in Rome has issued a statement and is organizing a prayer vigil. Press releases are awaiting so please get your facts straight.

          • yegermal

            One day too late, one penny too short! Imagine a government that awaits international reaction before releasing its own outcry for what has befallen its own people… and I don’t care if it were only one Eritrean in the boat! BTW, do not waste your time to defend DIA’s embassies. No Eritrean expected them to act differently than they have in the past. Remember, although the international community has finally realized that what is befalling the Eritrean people is of epic proportions and has given extensive coverage to the tragedy, this is not the first time that our brothers and sisters have lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea…Your mafia regime was mum about all these and his operatives had been denying all along that there was even an youth exodus from Eritrea. I don’t who you’re trying to fool. The Eritrean tragedy has never been a secret to us (the citizens of the dreadful country) but now the world knows too…and not because it cares about the Eritrean people, but because Eritreans (those who survive Sinai and the Mediterranean sea) are seeking refuge all over the world. I just don’t understand why such brazen psychopathy is becoming the norm among you guys (DIA’s supporters). Kem sebkum nebse sgha lebiskum indikikum, Kemey ke idkum aytise’anu !

    • Ghezae Hagos

      Selam All,

      I can’t extricate myself from Selam Kidane’s observation.

      ..the fathers (and mothers) died liberating the country… the children are dying running away from it… the irony… the tragedy… the absurd reality of being Eritrean…Selam Kidane

      • Dear Ghezae,

        No one of sane mind can extricate him/herself from this absurd reality we are in….an irony dying running away from their country. Selam’s remark will have a historical significance for these wounded generations.

        • Serray

          Selamat Sal, Haile, Gezae and Amanuel,

          One of the reasons the regime gets away with murder is because our victims are almost always nameless and faceless. Let’s change that, let us put names and faces to all tragedies that fell to our people.

          People in europe, specially in italy, are in a better position to get this information. I called the italian consular here and they were not helpful. They told me to google it for contact information; no luck so far. If this was to happen in canada or the US, getting this information would have been easy but it happened Italy, where there are a lot of eritreans desperately trying not to bring attention to themselves every time a dingy boat carrying desperate eritreans sink. I wonder how the they are observing the Day of Mourning while doing their very best not to jeopardize their vacation and half-finished villas. The regime that has been milking the money they made scrubbing floor has such contempt on them, it calls the woyanes kedemti fully aware of its implication.

          A few years ago, when a group in Europe tried to have a meeting with EU officials, the head of the ethiopian based opposition threw a temper tantrum; including writing an open letter where he stated they are the only representatives of the opposition. Well, where are they now? We have no government to claim the bodies of these victims. This would have been a good time to contact the italians, “as the representative of the opposition” and get the identities of the poor souls.

          • Selam Serray,

            You said, “one of the reasons the regime gets away with murder is because our victims are almost always nameless and faceless. Let’s change that, let us put names and faces to all tragedies that fell to our people.”

            You know what? as for me, I found these two sentences alone are the most important comments of this week.

          • HRactivist

            Why not crowdmap all the incidents with the names and the stories. Here is a free tool that takes seconds to setup and start
            It might even help track survivors and connect families. We built this for migrant abuse in the Middle East using the same tool
            Maybe this way you can put a name to the faces … just an idea

  • haile

    Selamat all:

    “…Meanwhile, the independent UN investigator on the human rights of migrants said the boat wreck highlighted the dangers of harsh measures against people seeking a better life in another country.”


    “…Somali presidential spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said the government was concerned about the large numbers of its youth risking their lives to get to Europe, but that the war-struck nation hasn’t been able to stem the flow. “The young people inside Somalia who don’t feel they have any hope in Somalia, feel that their only hope is to go to Europe,” he said.

    Mr. Osman said he was concerned that some European countries weren’t granting asylum to people who risked their lives to get there. “Our concern is Italy not welcoming those who came as asylum seekers,” he said.

    In Eritrea, a small arid country along the Red Sea that is home to 6 million people, thousands flee every year amid the economic ruin and political repression President Isaias Afewerki has fostered since coming to power in 1991.

    “People lose hope and they just run away,” said Amanuel Eyasu, a journalist who fled from Eritrea to the U.K. in 2003, where he runs a website criticizing the government. “So these kind of disasters have become almost a daily occurrence now.”

    Tsehaye Fassil, an official in Eritrea’s foreign ministry, referred a request for comment on Thursday’s boat accident to a colleague, who didn’t immediately respond.

    Ghana’s Deputy Information Minister Felix Ofusu said officials in his country were looking into whether the deaths included Ghanaians. In contrast to Somalia and Eritrea, Ghana is considered one of Africa’s stars, with an economy growing at 7.8%, according to the International Monetary Fund.”


    Meanwhile, the dictatorial regime in Eritrea issued a news item today describing the collective punishment of the residents of Asmara, who were taken out of their normal lives and made to spend the day picking up street garbage. It said “…Accordingly, more than 2,500 quintals of trash were moved to dumping ssites.”



    • yegermal


      A young relative of mine that has been doing this type of filthy job for a couple of years saw no way out and committed suicide recently….Didn’t mean to overshare but felt compelled to point out the ramifications of the forced labor that is being imposed on our youth. Perhaps, that is really what DIA trying to do…pushing those that has chosen to stay in Eritrea to commit suicide or lose their mind. MEN EYU EWUYY KIBLELU N’HZBINA!

      • TheTruth

        She killed herself because she was tasked with beautifying her country. No offense but there is more to the story that you’re not telling us. Doesn’t add up.

        • yegermal

          Again, am not surprised that you’re dismissing the information I so reluctantly shared with the public. It only shows how disconnected you are with the plight of the Eritrean youth. My family’s tragedy is not an isolated case. If you cared a tiny bit about the dire situation the Eritrean people is silently enduring, you’d know that suicide among Eritrean youth inside Eritrea has reached an epidemic level and had Eritrea been governed by a legitimate government, it would be declared a public health emergency. Please don’t keep adding insult to our injured hearts!

  • Elenta

    Here is what Meron Estefonose said to the International Business world:

    “The President said to stop complaining about water. ‘If water does not go to people, people should go to water,’ he said. They went to water and died.”

  • Wag Wago

    A government boasting of having prioritized the issue of “Human Resources” in every sector of its policies (if at all it has policies) since the dawn of the country’s independence, not saying a word when hundreds of its citizens perish in the sea while Italy, a country that carries the overburden of refugees, declares a national day of morning ?? Ambassadors and higher officials of the unpopular regime, show your courage by resigning or defecting. This is the least you can do if you truly have humane virtuous as the current tragedy does not signify the end of our misfortune.

  • Dawit

    Well written article. Awate thank you for been light of our people when they are so many darknest in our country. Let us not forget this tragic event and mourn our lost brothers/sisters.

  • Horizon

    In these shocking moments when everyone with some human feeling is overwhelmed with the tragedy of Eritrean refugees that resulted in the death of innocent young men, women, and children and the unbearable pain and grief of the families of the lost ones, some Eritrean supporters of the regime are insulting the dead by characterizing them as materialistic people. This is the worst type of profanity, callousness and inhuman behavior.

    God rest the souls of the dead, and let us all pray that He will give their families the power to bear this insurmountable grief.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Thank you Horizon always kind and humble.

    • Kokhob Selam

      dear btrother Horizon horn in genral and Habesh in particular has to join hands to end all what we are experiancing. we need to think wider.


      • Kokhob Selam

        were you able to see? confirm please.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear all Ethiopinas
          ……..ኣይዞህ ሃበሻ!!!!!….. Jebana very short poem.

        • Horizon

          Dear Kokηοb Selam,

          After I saw the clip, I was forced to ask myself why is that Africans and especially the Habesha people should continue to suffer so much in this age when the world has become a better place for the great majority of the peoples of the world? What is the sin we have committed so that God punishes our people in such a harsh way?
          Jews asked the same question when they were in Nazi concentration camps, why God had forsaken its chosen people. They had no answer, and at the end, they decided to thank Him nevertheless, and wait for the Day of Judgment, which finally came and their enemies suffered a crushing defeat.
          The ways of the Lord are beyond our understanding and we should nevertheless thank Him and wait for his justice to shine on our people. That day will surely come, and it will be a beautiful day, because the day after a storm is usually more beautiful than all the other days.

          • Horizon

            Please correct as Dear Kokhob Selam. Thank you.

  • Haqi

    Thank you awate.com.

    We need a real govt in Eritrea, hgdef is nothing but a collection of looters, killers, liars who will do anything to maintain their corrupt org. We shouldn’t be surprised by their daily bold lies and weak arguments in defense of the sadistic, satanic regime. God help the Eritrean people

  • Seare

    Our current condition is extremly tragic. The suffering the whole country is going through is simply unimaginable.

    I feel helpless in the face of all this tragedies.
    The country is held hostage by those of us in the Government, supporting the govermenent and yes opposing the government.

    The government is complete failure when it comes to impoving the situation in ERitrea.
    Those of us who support the government are denying the plight of our compatriots. We see what ever is said and done in the context of Shabiaand Weyane or EPLF and ELF. Never critsize the government or its flawed policies and outright oppression of the people.

    The opposition – does not really deserve the name – is smiply denying the people any other viable alternative. These religion, ethnic, region or PIA-hate based opposition are hindering any other effective opposition from growing.

    I have huge lump in the throat and feel simply helpless.

  • Kokhob Selam

    ……ማይ ዶ ሓዊ…….. Jabana new short poem. Who was kind to victims let’s see (Fire or Water.)

  • johnny

    Well well written.that all I can saya this is wake up call to all eritrean people who have a common sense and believe in justice.let march on to our beloved country for peace,love ,prosperity and justice.

  • Godefay

    I hope diaspora Eritreans, the majority of the supporters of this idiotic regime, will learn from this tragedy and do everything they possibly can to get rid of Shaebia. They news of the death of hundreds of young Eritreans is totally unacceptable. It’s really sad.

  • Yemane

    Attention: The Atlanta Chapter PFDJ has cancelled the concert that was planned for October 5. Mr. Bereket Tsegai, the organizer said, “It is time to mourn our dead and not time to dance”.

    • Danny

      PFDJ uttered the word “mourn” yesterday’s victims? I have a very hard time believing this story. If anything, they are probably getting a chuckle out of it. If they cannot dance over this, what else will they dance for?

  • Ali Ahmed

    This tragedy is a headline news almost everywhere in the world, except in Eritrea from where the major of people who lost their lives come from.

    It is an irony that the Italian government has declared a national day of mourning for the victims while the Eritrean government does even want to mention them.

    Ali Ahmed

    • Seare

      I beg to differ Ahmed. the sunday morning prayer of aömost all the churches in Eritrea was dedicated to the people who lost their lives in this tragedy.

      Were you expecting something from GoE …

  • Kubrom Dafla

    Well said! Your articulation of the situation is very impressive. It is true to the high standard that the Awate Team has set for itself. Please keep the good work and keep your standard untarnished, in these murky and uncharted waters, which unfortunately is the only option for the opposition in the diaspora. Awate has set a new benchmark. Thank you.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    My condolences to the servivers who still shiver by the Whole trauma, to all Family members who yet dont know if their love ones makes it or not and all the concerned ones.

    I want to share this for all who worries about the Young migrants from east africa which happened a year ago. A girl of age 19 brust in tears with her face truned red like tomatos when her residence permision translated to her. It did not look like happy tears at all from the look of the girl blood vessels on her temples about to explod. The translator asked what was the matter with her and she replied ‘My sister, i departed from my sister in Libya, i dont know where she is now’.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    ‘the Eritrean regime is not indifferent’, i think you mean the eritrean regime is indifferent.

    • Dave

      À good absevation.